communists aren't moralists or really particularly interested in moralizing about individuals at all, and as someone with a presumably high salary you'll be able to contribute more financially to the movement as well. i think it's perfectly possible to be a principled communist and a defence lawyer of some kind, but with that said it would be quite difficult to imagine a communist prosecutor or a communist lawyer working defence for corporations – at that point you'd be directly partaking in the capitalist class' oppression of the working classes. additionally, as a lawyer you'll be constantly surrounded by and bombarded with petit bourgeois values which will put a great ideological pressure on you as a communist which you'll need to be aware of and actively work against so that it doesn't seep into your own thinking. in short, there definitely are some contradictions, but it's certainly not impossible to be a communist and a lawyer or jurist, that's my opinion any way.


The only job that's hypocritical for a communist to have is a job that inherently relies on exploration of workers. Lawyers don't really exploit anybody but defending a known criminal would definitely take a significant toll on me. Either way a non explorative job that pays extremely well gives you more resources for altruism.


You can think of defending a criminal as making sure they get a fair trial. If they really are guilty, the evidence is there, and the prosecutor isn't incompetent, they will be found guilty (hopefully).


Exactly. A good defense attorney is an advocate for all of us. Making the prosecution and police work, do their job correctly, and not abuse the system. If there is someone always their to challenge them, they (in theory) have to do their job correctly and by the book. They may be defending someone guilty, but the individual circumstances do not matter. Good old better 100 guilty go free then 1 innocent be found guilty.


i guess it's a nitpick but calling it "abuse the system" implies that there is actually some sort of neutral arbiter-state with a fundamentally classless court system, just as liberalism wants you to believe, which is just not the case. as im sure you know already, the state is a tool of the bourgeoisie used to oppress the working classes and protect private property and the bourgeoisie's rule over society – the court is a key arm of that bourgeois state. an amazing comrade of mine recently said at a meeting that bourgeois law is like a spider web: small creatures are caught in it while large creatures simply rip it.


I know and I know id try convincing myself of that but it just feels wrong. And if the prosecutor is incompetent and mt client gets away with it and I have to continue with that it would crush me. Also this doesn't cover crimes such as rape where few people are prosecuted and even less are convicted. I don't know how I'd handle defending someone I knew was a rapist.


In that case criminal law probably won't be for you, but there are still other areas in law that may interest you.


What about a communist inhereting a small real estate business (a few appartments) from their parents? What should they do with it?


Selling the properties would worsen the problem and is possibly the worst option available as those properties are highly likely to make their way into the hands of other highly unnecessary and exploitative real estate businesses somewhere down the line especially if they're apartments. Houses you could sell to someone who plans to make a permanent residence there. I'd have to say you rent out the apartments for an amount as to where you're breaking even or making a small profit as you'd be providing much cheaper housing for your tenants and allowing them to actually use the money they would've paid renting from other landlords to better their current situation or to plan for the future or just to have fun and make the most of the present. IMO the best option for a communist who becomes a landlord unwillingly (weird scenario are you the communist) would likely be to become a benevolent landlord. If you feel at any point you can't do this or don't want to you could sell them to a person who plans to live there or give them away if you feel like being supremely altruistic which would be very cool.


Yeah... that communist is me... I'm ashamed to become a landlord... Thing is in my country the rent has to be a near a certain minimum amount to match rent prices in the area, so as far as I understand it landlords must raise the rent regularly by law. I think I just won't touch the profits if it isn't necessary. Only for repairs and such. And I am scared that if I were to sell, it might be bought up by big real estate firms, and those are just plain evil. God, why did I read theory? Should have just stayed stupid, then I would not feel so bad about it now. Just kidding, it's probably better for tenants to have a communist landlord and not some capitalist pig. And after all, Engels was a communist but also a factory owner. And I'm glad my parents are not greedy towards the tenants and put a lot of effort into upkeeping.


> that said it would be quite difficult to imagine a communist prosecutor or a communist lawyer working defence for corporations Apparently not hard enough to imagine for some social-fascists in the imperial core; a Youtube channel devoted to defending Chinese revisionism from a supposedly communist standpoint existed for some time and with some minor popularity while the host was known to be a corporate defense lawyer. The channel (before it disappeared) was called BayArea415.


Not even the only one. Esha/Historic.ly is in the exact same boat, I don't know if it's better or worse that she actually managed to get interviews with marxists like Torkil Lauesen


Yeah those Greyzone "Anti-Imperialist, Leftist, but not specifically Marxist" types seem to be inching closer and closer to a merger with fascists every day. The 'Probably Cancelled' podcast went from releasing posters of Mao quotes to convincing their audience that an alliance with the "Anti-Interventionist Right" is the correct path to take because "the left just keeps getting psy-opped". Their rhetoric is quickly dropping Marxist terminology in favor of conspiratorial fascist terminology like "Deep-State" during this transition as well.


Boy: Fucking Lenin was a lawyer!!! Marx did try too, but i'm not sure If he have graduated


Castro was a lawyer


So was Bishop.


And you allways can do law as a form to defy the system


Yes, learning it to make sure you can stop any abuse where you can is very effective.


1st: LENIN was a lawyer 2nd: I’m a public defender and a communist. Not hard to reconcile the two.


Depends on what kind of law, but yes. Lenin and Castro were lawyers.


In a similar position now, going to law school in the fall and having similar trepidation. I think ultimately, the job is not radical or communist and there’s no point pretending otherwise. At the same time, the work you do can be very useful, especially when playing a supporting role to other liberatory struggles. Work with abolitionist orgs and get people out of prison. Work with tenant unions and defend people from evictions. Will this work be revolutionary? No. Can it still be a decent use of your time relative to other 9-5s? I think so. If you put all of your revolutionary passion into the work, you will likely feel demoralized. Do your work, and then go organize afterwards. Again, I haven’t started school yet and would be happy to commiserate over this so def feel free to dm


"Am i going to have to abandon my beliefs in service of the judicial system?" That seems to be the entirety of a lawyers job description


As a commie who works in housing law I say PLEASE JOIN US… eviction court absolutely needs more attorneys who understand the effects landlordism on a higher level


I see by the comments that it's a bit late so I have to preface my comment. Most often, when posters come here to ask about the ethics or morality of the careers they want to have, they do not come as communists seeking advice on jobs that can be exploited to benefit the revolutionary movement. They come as future so-and-soers who want reassurance that they can still call themselves progressives in their future job, or want to see if they will have to argue for their right to pay lip service to communism since their plan is to go through with that job anyway (or with trading stocks, or running a business, or doing drugs etc). Quite frankly it is easy to see through, just like it is easy to see through those posts that are like "I'm a really stupid person. No literally I'm a tiny incompetent baby". Well this subreddit has a purpose, and it is to make you think. Therefore, I am going to give you more questions than answers. I hope the other posters who auto-replay "Marx studied law! Lenin was a lawyer! Castro was a lawyer! Engels ran a factory!" will indulge themselves on some thinking, too. First, read [Lenin and Problems of Law](https://www.marxists.org/archive/pashukanis/1925/xx/lenin.htm) by Evgeny Pashukanis. You don't have to stop there but you have to read it, as this is the bare minimum for rescuing him and his association with law from the opportunists (who see only his association with the job as their inspiration). After reading about Lenin, would you agree with that he was a "lawyer"? Second, read Jurisprudence of Insurgency by Michael Tigar, which is chapter 22 of the book [Law and the Rise of Capitalism](https://cloudflare-ipfs.com/ipfs/bafykbzaceaorc4mlaaky2ko5mi4ymyefxfc5svytjpq7wqljffqpn6ob7k6wc?filename=Michael%20E.%20Tigar%20-%20Law%20and%20the%20Rise%20of%20Capitalism-Monthly%20Review%20Press%20%282000%29.pdf). It will help if you read a bit more about Tigar whether that be his memoirs or just some simple googling. Then ask yourself: what is the difference between Lenin and Tigar and how they viewed and practiced law? You may see some similarities between the two but there are differences as well, and it is therein that you will find your answer. If you don't see it then you have not yet received an answer to this post, even if a thousand redditors give you bland responses of affirmation. You shouldn't expect an easy answer, anyway. Even the most knowledgeable here are still working through old questions. "Can I be a communist and a lawyer in America?" is such a banal question, yet we have the power to transform it into an open question that grants you an opportunity to show yourself, and us, some practical answers.


If you’re a PD, sure. Be very ready for hostile judges to censure and attack you if they suspect your political beliefs. Pretend to be at most radlib


There's nothing inherently anti-communist about lawyers as a profession. It's all going to depend on the type of law you practice.


Try workers' comp? Im a paralegal working in comp and im pretty happy. While working within the confines of the law can be a bit annoying, most of my job is helping workers fight insurance companies, and that feels like a worthwhile use of my mandatory labor hours. They're USUALLY very grateful for your help, and they often really need someone who can help them work the byzantine system.


Lenin was a lawyer. Emphasis on *was*. The revolution needs underground, professional revolutionaries. There is no perfect unalienated job, and communism is not a side hustle. It does not matter whether you work to protect the interests of the haute bourgeoisie or the labor aristocratic so-called "working class," your existence in the imperial core is antagonistic to the global proletariat. Get over yourself.


As a lawyer, you can focus your work in ways that advance class struggle, such as representing political prisoners.


Only you can abandon your ideals. Your job title doesn't make you a good comrade.


We def need more communist lawyers, judges, prosecutors, etc. Be a fucking good communist lawyer!


You have “come to terms with being a public school teacher” but are “escaping a career in education”? Do you think being a teacher or lawyer gels more with being a communist? Why are you really becoming a lawyer? You’ve “been able to positively impact students” but are now leaving that behind? What does it matter if you hold to communist beliefs or abandon them while sitting on a pile of money and surrounding yourself with possessions if that is your aim. Don’t use a thread like this to absolve yourself of any guilt, doubts or second thoughts you have, confront them squarely instead. Some renowned communists may have been lawyers but you aren’t Lenin.


What field of practice do you see yourself going into? Obviously some areas are more in service of capital than others. I follow a Marxist public defender on social media and he seems to be an admirable person but obviously he’s not making 400k a year


Depends completely on the type of law.


John Abt certainly proved it's possible. Read his book *Advocate and Activist*. Liberals like William Kunstler and Ron Kuby as well. While it's no longer possible to do what Abt did, they all maintained their principles by doing pro bono defense work and fighting against corporate interests whenever they could.


I’ve been thinking about taking the same path recently. The way I see it plaintiff side employment and worker’s comp lawyers are a great help to the working class.


Practicing law can be a great opportunity to help people. You just won't be the type of lawyer that makes much money.


I identify myself as a socialist and I'm a lawyer too. You're socialist or communist if you believe the current system must change to create a fair society and who is the owner of the means of production!


Law like violence is a tool not a moral thing like some folk try to make it. You got a hammer? Hit some nails.