Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2255205
 


 



Lawyering for Groups: The Case of American Indian Tribal Attorneys


Kristen A. Carpenter


University of Colorado Law School

Eli Wald


University of Denver Sturm College of Law

April 22, 2013

Fordham Law Review, Vol. 81, No. 3085, 2013
U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-24

Abstract:     
Lawyering for groups, broadly defined as the legal representation of a client who is not an individual, is a significant and booming phenomenon. Encompassing the representation of governments, corporations, institutions, peoples, classes, communities, and causes, lawyering for groups is what many, if not most, lawyers do. And yet, the dominant theory of law practice — the Standard Conception, with its principles of zealous advocacy, nonaccountability, and professional role-based morality — and the rules of professional conduct that codify it, continue to be premised on the basic antiquated assumption that the paradigmatic client-attorney relationship is between an individual client and an individual attorney. The result is a set of rules and a theory of law practice that often ill fit the practice of group lawyers.

This Article explores the theoretical and practical challenges of group lawyering through the study of lawyers for American Indian tribes. We believe that a focus on tribal lawyers furthers two important goals. First, the individualistic impulse of the dominant theory of law practice is so ingrained that it forecloses the possibility of challenging and imagining genuine group-based alternatives. In order to truly see the shortcomings of the Standard Conception and conceive of alternatives to it, one must start not with an abstract theory of group representation, but with a detailed study of the meaning, needs, interests, and realities of actual groups and build a corresponding theory from the ground up. Second, the story of tribal lawyers, an important narrative of both the legal profession and of tribes, is still largely untold. This Article thus aims to challenge the homogeneity of the Standard Conception of law practice and to begin the process of imagining group-based alternatives to it, while at the same time telling part of the story of tribal lawyers.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 80

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Date posted: April 22, 2013 ; Last revised: May 1, 2013

Suggested Citation

Carpenter, Kristen A. and Wald, Eli, Lawyering for Groups: The Case of American Indian Tribal Attorneys (April 22, 2013). Fordham Law Review, Vol. 81, No. 3085, 2013; U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-24. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2255205

Contact Information

Kristen A. Carpenter (Contact Author)
University of Colorado Law School ( email )
Wolf Law Building, 401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
(303) 492-6526 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://lawweb.colorado.edu/profiles/profile.jsp?id=368
Eli Wald
University of Denver Sturm College of Law ( email )
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
United States
HOME PAGE: http://law.du.edu/index.php/profile/eli-wald
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