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Lawyers as salespeople In the article “Sales for Lawyers” [NLJ, Jan. 17], Robert Popeo, chairman of Boston’s Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, is quoted as saying, “We think there are some terrific academic institutions” for lawyers unwilling to accept that being a lawyer means knowing how to function as a businessperson. We attorneys need to reject his dismissive comment. In the not too distant past, firms had “rainmakers” who brought clients to the firm on the theory that their lawyers could do a better job than other lawyers. We sold the competence of the firm, albeit it was the competence of many other members of the firm, not just the rainmakers. It is offensive to me as a practitioner of 27 years that the new standard will be that the glib should inherit the profession. What is wrong with our public image is precisely that our practice behavior is portrayed by this article as how much business and money we can make. Making money is an honorable goal, and one l respect for myself or for anyone else. But to make it the centerpiece of practicing law is to encourage less competence and more sales. Mentoring for business-getting should be part of the firms’ rainmakers’ responsibility. Further, nothing brings in more business than a great reputation for legal competence. Mr. Popeo has the horse and cart backward: I have taught as an adjunct professor in law schools because the academics want their students to have some glimpse of the application in the real world of the theories they teach from teachers who also have that experience as well as the expertise in the area of concentration. If this is where our society is being led by its leaders, i.e., lawyers, then we are on the fast track to mediocrity as a nation. We lawyers should take our oath very seriously and accept the responsibility that comes with the right to practice law-I know of no salespeople who enjoy the unique role of lawyer; in fact, we alone as a profession must swear to uphold the laws-only officeholders share that privilege and responsibility-loyalty oaths notwithstanding. Arline Jolles Lotman Philadelphia Solomon Amendment Re “Law schools v. Defense Department” [NLJ, Jan. 31]: I am a retired Navy lawyer, Judge Advocate General Corps Commander. From 1989 to 1999, I was the attorney for Naval Reserve Recruiting Command. I had experience with the Solomon Amendment since I set up my command’s program on how to deal with colleges that barred our military recruiters access after it became law in the mid-1990s. Solomon was highly effective in getting long closed campuses opened up to recruiters, as few colleges wanted to lose their millions of dollars in federal assistance for barring recruiters. Unfortunately, two of the three judges from a panel of the 3d U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently found Solomon unconstitutional. This decision has been hailed as victory by gay rights advocates who do not like the federal law, not the military’s law, that bars openly gay people from the military. The decision, however, has much broader and graver ramifications. Law schools and colleges that bar recruiters do so under their own anti-discrimination regulations and/or as the result of their accrediting body’s bylaws. These guidelines, in addition to gender/sexual orientation discrimination, also forbid employers from recruiting students on campus if they discriminate based on age, gender or disability, which the military also does per federal law. Thus, even if Congress totally removed gender orientation as a military recruiting criterion, colleges would still be able to bar recruiters due to the “other” forms of discrimination the military must practice under current federal law. In many cases, the discrimination argument is just a smoke screen, since many schools have an absolute anti-military bias. The Solomon Amendment requirements are thus not limited to “gay rights” issues. Unless the appellate court is reversed on further appeal, the military is now “held hostage” to virtually any alleged free speech issue schools receiving federal funding want to espouse that involves a government policy or military action that they disagree with. The issues involved are broader in scope than how colleges, law professors and the news media want to define them. Wayne L. Johnson Alexandria, Va.

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