In 1983, Time mag looked at Japan and noticed, to its astonishment, a “land without legal professionals.” “Most Japanese,” stated its record, “stay — and die — without ever having visible a lawyer.” Was this a rustic or a mystic brotherhood? There has been one legal professional for every 400 citizens; in Japan, one for each 10,000. Whether Japan has matured considering then or misplaced ground may be argued both manners. The wide variety of legal professionals, in any case, has tripled. It’s what the authorities wanted and started running for in 2002. Law faculties had been installed. The bar exam becomes simplified. Japan is a “land without attorneys” now not.
It’s hard not to smile, studying Time’s insurance of 3½ decades in the past. The reporters themselves should be laughing. How pristine, how innocent, how freshly scrubbed and shining it all might have looked to them, hardened as they were via the gritty American unfastened-for-all of winners vs. Losers in a never-finishing, regularly violent, constantly litigious warfare for existence and its good matters. In Tokyo, a reasonable police officer manning a koban (police container) is shown handling a common grievance: “‘Where’s my pet monkey, Mimi?’ squeaked an elderly lady wrapped in a brilliant purple kimono.”
It’s now not like that anymore. The first impolite shock to the social concord got here in the 1990s thru the pseudo-non secular terrorism of Aum Shinrikyo. Since then, it’s been one thing after every other — the unprovoked mass stabbing of kids and adults at a school bus forestall and a string of weird fatalities regarding getting old drivers who don’t seem to realize their brakes from their accelerators being merely the cutting-edge instances. “Lawlessness” is a luxurious Japan can no longer come up with the money for.
The gruesome and the aberrational rarely exhaust the challenge of legal professionals’ penetration of mainstream society. Everyday life and its venues — quiet, college, the place of business — are themselves rife with felony troubles, assuring legal professionals a function right here, too. Maybe in 1983, contending parties might truely have talked and drunk their way to amicable settlements of discords inclusive of electricity harassment, sexual harassment, bullying, marital infidelity, groping, and all of the different incredible and small frictions that stand up when too many human beings live too close together beneath an excessive amount of pressure. How herbal it’s grown to be these days to turn to attorneys may be gauged by using President magazine’s function this month on that very issue: criminal advice on coping with troubles that when upon a time have been social, now not criminal.
The first question that arises in any disaster is, “Do I need a lawyer?” It is herbal to pray not. Legal tactics are complicated, and attorneys are high-priced — a few higher so than others of the route, just as a few are better than others or more professional on your particular issue. How to pick out? What considerations are a wise preference based on? Retailers are presenting simple prison advice; however, at ¥5,000 in keeping with half of the hour, they’re no longer cheap.