Metaphors of Lawyers' Professionalism


  • Jonnette Watson Hamilton



This article examines three common metaphors in several professional codes of legal conduct and supporting documents. The metaphors are the "metaphoric networks" based on the military, gentility and Christianity. Numerous examples of all three metaphoric networks are given. Metaphors are non-arbitrary. The three metaphoric networks examined here are consistent with one of the most common orientation metaphors in the English language, the metaphor expressing relationships in bodily terms of "up" and "down." These metaphoric networks evoke a hierarchy of society based on a strictly male, ethnocentric British-Canadian world. The lawyer reading the codes of conduct that contain these metaphors would see the image of the lawyer created according to the lawyer's own inclusion within or exclusion from that ideal. Also, this social elitism may contribute to the public's lack of respect for the legal profession.


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