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What makes a top-rate lawyer?
The detachment of a stranger. The advocacy of a true buddy.
The cunning of Tom Sawyer.
And study.

The prudence of a Solomon or Solon,
The wit of a Marx,
To grasp the concept of the whole on
Solely the basis of its parts.

The rhetoric of Cicero, or at least of Noah Sweat,
And going past the popular idea of courtrooms all oyez-ish and m’lud-y.
To strive for truth, or however close to truth we truly get.
And study, study, study.

Of course, sometimes it seems more bills of sale than bills of rights,
And taxing codes of tax −
Long days and longer nights
At study in the stacks.

And yet it’s not all study, wading through old cases,
Elucidating precedent when history is muddy;
It’s also study’s goal: to locate truth and reason’s bases . . .
And still − study, study, study, study, study.