In the beginning, a court consisted of judges and the guilty had to “plead” their own case. Along the way, someone decided that their very well-spoken friend might do a better job of communicating their plight. That appears to be the beginning of the practice of law. And by the way, when that occurred, the well-spoken “friend” or “orator” as they began to be called, was not allowed to collect a fee for their services.
The ban on fees was abolished by Emperor Claudius sometime around 40 A.D., but he also placed a fee ceiling of 10,000 sesterces, which wasn’t much money. The advocates, as they were known complained and then the real establishment begun as “rhetoric” began being replaced by actual law. If you are interested in knowing how things changed through the Middle Ages, Dark Ages and how the Roman Catholic church weighs in on this profession, then continue reading here.