No lawyer will ever go to heaven
so long as there is room for more in hell.
"Yes, Jamie, he was a bad man, but he might have been worse; he was an Irishman, but he might have been a Scotchman; he was a priest, but he might have been a lawyer."
Samuel Parr of James O'Coighy, hanged for treason on 7 June 1798
Few lawyers die well, few physicians live well.
Ye who plead for the poor, and take money at their hands.
Ye lawyers, ye advocates, be sure of this:
When ye draw near to death, and pray for pardon,
Your pardon at your parting hence will be but small.
Saint Matthew bids me tell you this, and if I lie, blame him.
William Langland, Piers Plowman, 14th century
Here lies John Shaw,
And when he died,
The Devil cried,
"Give us your paw,
H. J. Loaring, Epitaphs Quaint, Curious and Elegant, 1872
A Dublin barrister died in poverty and many of the city's lawyers subscribed to a fund for his funeral. The Lord Chief Justice of Orbury was asked to donate a shilling. "Only a shilling?" asked the Justice. "Only a shilling to bury a lawyer? Here's a guinea. By all means, go and bury twenty more with him."
Why is there always a secret singing
When a lawyer cashes in?
Why does a hearse horse snicker
Hauling a lawyer away?
Carl Sandburg, The Lawyers Know Too Much, 1920
Daniel Webster: You seem to have an excellent acquaintance with the law, sir.
The Devil: Sir, that is no fault of mine. Where I come from, we have always gotten the pick of the Bar.
Stephen Vincent Benét, The Devil and Daniel Webster, 1939
A man who dies without a will has lawyers for heirs.
As scarce as lawyers in Heaven.
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
A priest was called to the house of an elderly attorney.
"How is the patient?" he asked the doctor.
"I'm afraid he's lying at death's door."
The priest sighed. "Poor soul. Going to meet his maker, and he's still lying."
A lawyer was attending a sold-out Broadway show. The woman sitting behind him asked why the seat next to him was empty. The lawyer explained that his wife couldn't make it. When the woman asked if he didn't have relatives or friends who could have used the seat, he replied, "They're all at the funeral."
The telephone rang late one night at the governor's mansion. After a long argument the aide who took the call reluctantly agreed to wake the governor.
"What's so important it couldn't wait until morning?" demanded the governor.
"Judge Ferret just died," explained the aide, "and this lawyer wants to take his place."
The governor smiled grimly. "Well, you just tell him that if it's okay with the undertaker, it's okay with me."
A lawyer arriving at the gates of heaven found himself confronted by St. Peter, who began to enumerate his many sins.
"Wait," objected the deceased pettifogger, "I haven't been all bad. I gave money to charity, too, you know."
St. Peter consulted his book. "Ah, yes. Once you gave a dime to a panhandler, and another time you tipped the shoeshine boy a nickle. Is that correct?"
"That's right," the lawyer replied smugly.
St. Peter turned to the angel next to him. "Fair enough. Give this guy fifteen cents and tell him to go to hell."
When that same lawyer arrived down under, he advised the devil it must all be a mistake: at 47 he was too young to be dead.
"Oh, I don't know," replied the devil. "Judging by your hourly billing records you must be at least 103!"