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A Profile in Professionalism

The Houston Lawyer

Blank Rome partner Susan L. Bickley, who serves as chair of the firm’s Houston office, was featured in The Houston Lawyer's Profile in Professionalism, published in the July/August issue of the magazine. The profile, as published in The Houston Lawyer, is copied in full below.

To read the July/August issue of The Houston Lawyer, please click here.

A Profile in Professionalism 


The “rule of law” is a foundational principle of both our nation and, in my view, attorney professionalism.

The rule of law long has been recognized as a crucial mechanism by which stability is secured and the peaceful resolution of tensions and disputes occurs in a civil society. In the United States, we rely upon law to fulfill the promises of equality, freedom, and justice in our founding documents. The rule of law prevents the arbitrary exercise of power and its means by which we strive to achieve equality and protect our citizens’ liberty. In contrast, disrespect for the rule of law threatens despotism, authoritarianism, and disregard for our basic human rights and freedoms.

As lawyers, we justly should be both proud of, and humbled by, the facts that we are charged with the responsibilities to implement and defend the rule of law in our community and, indeed, we are its guardians.

In my opinion, professionalism is nothing less than the behavior required due to the important role lawyers occupy in our society. We serve not only as representatives of our clients, but as officers of the legal system. Not just “hired guns” who will do anything for a result, we have a special responsibility to embody professional standards which promote and advance the rule of law in our civil society, while zealously representing our clients. Being professional, therefore, means encouraging respect for the law and the administration of justice, and seeking to improve it so, as a nation, we move ever closer to achieving the ideals embodied in our constitution.