Ur Max Webers Wirtschaft und Geselschaft (transl. Roth & Wittisch)
The vocational responsibility of maintaining the existing legal system seems to place the practitioners of the law among the “conservative” forces. This is true in the twofold sense that legal practitioners are inclined to remain cool not only toward pressure of substantive postulates put forward from “below” in the name of “social” ideals but also towards those from “above” which are put forward in the name of patriarchal welfare politics. Of course, this statement should not be taken as representing the whole truth without qualifications. The role of representative of the underprivileged, and of the advocate of formal equality before the law is particularly suited to the attorney… This is why attorneys, and lawyers in general, have played such a leading role in the movements of the popolani of the Italian communes and, later, in all the bourgeois revolutions of modern times as well as in the socialist parties. It also explains why in purely democratic countries, such as Italy, France, or the United States, the lawyers, as the professionally expert technicians of the legal crafts, as honoratiores, and as fidunciaries of their clients, are the natural aspirants to political carriers.
Weber fortsätter sin analys av juristernas roll med att diskutera hur tyska jurister under tiden före Första Världskriget ändrat sin inställning och alltmer börjat acceptera auktoritära drag i det politiska systemet som en följd av rättspositivismen. Trots att den är skriven före kriget pekar den på ett obehagligt sätt fram emot hur de skulle agera under mellankrigstiden och under Andra Världskriget:
Among the general ideological factors which account for the change in the lawyers’ attitude, the disappearance of the belief in natural law has played a major role. If the legal profession of the present day manifests at all typical ideological affinities to various power groups, its members are inclined to stand on the side of “order,” which in practice means that they will take the side of the “legitimate” authoritarian political power that happens to predominate at the moment. In this respect they differ from the lawyers of the English and French revolutionary periods and of the period of enlightenment in general.