by Alexandra E
Move over Law and Order, now here is something catching the eyes of
audiences with its heart-pounding, jaw-dropping legal stories and not
so legal solutions, Scandal. A political thriller television series
focused on the life of a sexy smart black attorney, Olivia Pope, and
her team of associates, including a former black ops turned computer
hacker, a litigator and an investigator. Partially based on the life
of former President Bush’s administration press aide, Judy Smith, we
wonder if this is really what is going on in Washington, D.C., and if
so where can we sign up.
Enough to make an attorney’s hair stand on end, Olivia Pope does not
defend justice nor does she abide by any code of professional ethics.
She states, “we are the judge and the jury, the media and the public
opinion.” Her self-pronounced duty is only to serve the client and by
nearly any means, this often verges on criminal conduct if not
downright illegal. In just two seasons, we’ve seen Pope & Associates
tampering with crime scenes, buying time from the United States
Attorney’s Office, sleeping with coroners to get autopsy reports,
getting a woman exonerated for allegedly bombing a building and saving
the President’s career by lying to the American public. We ask
ourselves, what makes this show so juicy if we know it is so wrong.
While providing audiences with a peek at a different kind of lawyer,
it’s unclear whether such attorneys, do in fact, exist. Moreover, if
they exist, what does this say about our colleagues and our
profession? The better question is have lawyers changed or has the
publics’ views of them changed? Or is this just a fluke, an attempt
to change our picture of the legal system and the attorney’s role in
it from upholder of justice to gladiator by any means? Perhaps, we
need to take a second and reflect on what the law has been and will
always be and not get caught up in the hype. Lawyers have a
professional duty and it includes upholding the law.