The Role of the Lawyer in the American Democracy
24 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2009
Date Written: April 1, 2009
This article was written for a symposium on the lawyer's role in a contemporary democracy. Its primary goal is to structure the future conversation about the practice of law in 21st century democracies, with a particular focus on lawyering in the United States. Its central argument presents itself in two steps. First, democracy in America is unique and any thinking about the American lawyer's professional responsibility must account for this fact. Second, acknowledging this state of affairs gives rise to a distinct understanding of what it means to be a lawyer in this country: Lawyers are the People's people. This article also takes advantage of the opportunity presented by the discussion to explain a basic aspect of an American lawyer's professional responsibility. Specifically, he or she has a fundamental obligation to represent all.
Keywords: legal ethics, professional responsibility, jurisprudence, legal theory
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