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The Seven Lamps of Advocacy: Edward Abbott Perry

The Seven Lamps of Advocacy: Edward Abbott Perry

Every profession needs some qualities to be good at the job, so is the case with advocacy. Advocacy is one of the pillars of the judicial system. the legal profession is regarded as one of the noble profession. So a good legal practitioner i.e. an advocate must possess certain qualities so as to enable the society to get maximum justice.

“Jack of all, master of none.”

“live like a hermit, work like a horse.”

These phrases show the qualities of a good legal practitioner, the advocate must possess the knowledge of all the fields to judge the subject in the real sense. Justice Abbott Parry in his book “Seven Lamps of Advocacy” suggested some qualities of an Advocate that one must possess.

  1. Honesty: As said, “ Honesty is the best policy”, it goes same everywhere. It means the quality of straightforwardness, freedom from deceit, cheating or stealing and not telling lies. An advocate must have high moral standards to succeed in his field. He must not take benefits unnecessarily from his client or any other individual. The State must have a check upon these activities as when an Advocate does anything wrong against morals, he must not be left unpunished. A wrong against morals cannot be accepted in any profession.

William Cowper says “ A lawyer’s dealing should be just and fair, honesty shines with great advantage there.”


  1. Courage: To deal in this profession, courage is one of the most important quality. It let the advocate control fear in danger, pain, misfortune, etc. An Advocate must face the pressure from outside with courage. While going against a strong opponent or the State itself, he must not fear of governmental machinery or the political powers. Courage alone wins the half of the case of the advocate.

Charles Hutton writes, “He hath in perfection the three chief qualifications of an advocate; Boldness,… Boldness,… and Boldness.”


  1. Wit: Wit stands for the clever and humorous approach to express the ideas, liveliness of the spirit by the advocate. It originates from intelligence, understanding, experience and sharpness of mind. Having wittiness is important as it lessens the pressure of mind and workload. It relaxes the mental strain at the workplace. Often in heating arguments, wittiness turns the judge from an unwise course, where judgment or rhetoric would certainly fail.

Wit lighten the darkness of Advocacy.

seven lamps of advocacy

  1. Eloquence: Fluency of speech plays an important role in the successful career of advocacy. It can be mastered by two steps i.e.
    1. to notice others’ faults,
    2. lively imagination and logical arguments.

To persuade or to appeal the feelings of others, fluent speaking and skilful use of language are necessary. It is an art of oratory.

Eloquence of manner id real eloquence” its impact is on the physical as well as the psychological side of advocacy.

  1. Judgment: The inspiration which enables the advocate to translate good sense into right action is judgment. An advocate must be in a position to see the merits and demerits of the case on getting the brief and documents. He must convey the actual status of the case to his clients. It is more of an intellectual capacity to see the right point of the case.
  2. Fellowship: Though advocates are opponents, they are not enemies. There must be friendly relations among them. There should be no discrimination, everyone should be treated equally. Mutual respect and fraternity should be among them. Advocates on opposite sides are the two parts of shears, they cut what comes between them, but not each other.
  3. Industry: Much like acting, advocacy is also an industry. The advocate studies his brief like an actor doing his part. An advocate needs to perform in the systematic way to succeed in the case. Hard work, quality, performance are essential for the smooth advancement of the profession. Advocacy requires ‘study’ throughout the career. Industry brings a good fame and name to the advocate. With day to day changing laws, it requires an up to dates advocate. A spider-like hardworking (in every direction) is successful in this profession.

seven lamps of advocacy

  1. Tact: Apart from the above mentioned seven lamps of advocacy, Justice Aiyer in his book “Professional Conduct and Advocacy” added one more lamp i.e. Tact. It stands to handle parties and situation skillfully and without causing offence to anyone. An advocate must be in a position to tackle and win his client, opponent party, counsel and the court in a pleasant way. It requires an advocate not to quarrel with the court or to lose temper on small issues.

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About Anupam Shukla

Learner II Law Student II Political Philosophy II Cricket fan II

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