True Confessions About the Role of Lawyers in a Democracy
20 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2009
Date Written: May 2009
The title of this Symposium, The Lawyer’s Role in a Contemporary Democracy, has several possible interpretations. It could represent a call to discuss the nature of democracy itself. Alternatively, it might employ the term 'contemporary democracy' as shorthand for freedoms commonly associated with liberal democracies, such as free speech and equality, and anticipate that Symposium participants will explore how lawyers can promote those freedoms. Although this essay discusses these approaches, it ultimately takes a different perspective. Fordham Law School’s Louis Stein Center for Professional Ethics, which typically focuses on how lawyers should act in their professional lives, has sponsored this Symposium. Given the Center’s orientation, I perceive its invitation as encouraging the Symposium participants to consider the common notion that attorneys, because of their status, have unique obligations to support law reform enhancing individual rights and open, representative government.
Keywords: legal ethics, professional responsibility
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation