The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.

Henry VI Part 2, Act IV, Scene II

Perhaps it is better that we use law against the killers. For all law’s malice, it bears no proportion to those who wield swords over paper. Paper takes a long time to smother its victims, whereas with steel the terminal blow is usually swift. The more law; the ever more voluminous the paper it yields; the more impeded are the arms of the killers by the twin morasses of words and reasoning, and hence the fewer that may die gory deaths. This is my defence of my profession, notwithstanding its habitual depravities that stain me as much as any other. The law buries humankind’s moral contusions deep within the folds of due process. This in itself is a contusion of its own kind, but usually not nearly so rancid as that which it buries. Paper is always cheaper than steel, and the stale smell of its multiple reams tends toward calming tempers whereas that of cordite has the opposite effect. If I can use law to defuse the perpetual propensity of our race to engage in conflict, and I might save lives as a result, then I will be satisfied. There is some tiny kernel within the law which renders us distinctively human, and raises us above the beasts.