1st Nov 2016
Here’s the story. My logo brings together two images and concepts. The scales of judgement are traditionally held by the figure of the Roman goddess of Justice you sometimes see on Court buildings. The idea is that she weighs up the evidence and is not swayed by distractions. But why the owl’s eyes?
Think of another ancient goddess, Athena, protector of Athens, Greece. An owl was her symbol and companion. Perhaps because it could see clearly, even when darkness made others stumble, the owl became synonymous with wisdom, insight and knowledge. This drachma, circa 480-420 shows Athena’s owl. Such coins were known as “owls”.
But there’s another reason linking all lawyers with owls, and that’s St. Ivo of Kermartin, born in 1253. Also called St. Yves, St. Ives and various other names, he began life as the rich son of a lord, who sent him to the University of Paris to study Civil Law. Instead of partying with other students, he abstained from wine and meat, prayed, visited the sick and studied hard. He went on to study Canon Law – the law of the Church. In time, he became an ecclesiastical judge. But instead of using his skill to assist the powerful, Ivo spoke for the poor, widows, orphans – helpless people who seldom received justice. At a time when bribing judges was common, he refused such corruption and helped clients to settle out of Court to save them money.
Eventually, Ivo became a Franciscan monk and was ordained into the priesthood in 1284. He continued to practise law and to inspire others with his dedication, honesty and impartiality. He died in 1303, and only 44 years later, he was declared a saint by the Catholic Church. Today St. Ivo is the patron saint of lawyers throughout the world.