History

History

The practice of law can be traced back into the mists of antiquity. Literally. To quote Wikipedia, “Ancient. The earliest people who could be described as "lawyers" were probably the orators of ancient Athens (see History of Athens). ... Therefore, if one narrows the definition to those men who could practice the legal profession openly and legally, then the first lawyers would have to be the orators of ancient Rome.”

Furthermore, as noted in Wikipedia, “Scholars in the discipline of comparative law have compared Greek law with both Roman law and with the primitive institutions of the Germanic nations. It may now be studied in its earlier stages in the laws of Gortyn; its influence may be traced in legal documents preserved in Egyptian papyri; and it may be recognized as a consistent whole in its ultimate relations to Roman law in the eastern provinces of the Roman empire.”

Established Chinese law is generally taken to be the laws, regulations and rules used in China till 1911, when the final imperial dynasty ended. Till then, it had undergone a process of constant development, dating back to at least the 11th century BC. Traditional law, as practiced in China, incorporated elements of Legalist and Confucian traditions of social order and governance.

As per Wikipedia, "The Chinese traditionally despised the role of advocate and saw such people as parasites who attempted to profit from the difficulties of others. The magistrate saw himself as someone seeking the truth, not a partisan for either side."

There were practicing lawyers in ancient India, too. Though it’s in the Vedic period that the recorded history of Indian law starts, it is extensively believed that ancient India had some sort of legal framework in place even during the Bronze Age and the Indus Valley civilization. The different stages of the development of Indian law is categorized as during the Vedic period, the Islamic period, the British period and post-independence.

As far as Egypt is concerned, it is believed that Egyptian law was based on a commonsense view of right and wrong, in line with the codes based on the concept of Ma'at. Ma'at stood for truth, order, balance and justice in the whole universe. This idea endorsed that everyone, apart from slaves, should be viewed as one and the same under the law, regardless of wealth or social position.