If Horatio Alger’s “rags to riches” stories are a conservative’s democratic daydream, the thought of an American aristocracy may be a liberal’s nightmare. There is one American institution, however, where daydream and nightmare have come together to create, in a manner of which Horatio Alger would approve, an aristocracy arising from democratic origins. Thus, Tocqueville wrote, “If I were asked where I placed the American aristocracy, I should reply without hesitation that it is not among the rich, who are united by no common tie, but that it occupies the judicial bench and bar. The more we reflect upon all that occurs in the United States, the more we shall be persuaded that the lawyers, as a body, form the most powerful, if not the only, counterpoise to the democratic element...to neutralize the vices inherent in popular government.”