Viewer’s Manual for the Film Red State/Blue State: Lawyers, Politics & Moral Counseling

8 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2020 Last revised: 30 Nov 2022

Date Written: March 18, 2010


This Viewer’s Manual provides a lesson plan for classroom or continuing legal education discussion of the film, “Red State/Blue State: Lawyers, Politics & Moral Counseling” (http address in Viewer’s Manual).

The Viewers Manual and film use the question of why lawyers are more politically liberal than non-lawyers as a way to explore the foundation in political philosophy for the dominant conception of lawyers as amoral partisans and to consider whether engaging in moral conversation with clients is permitted or preferable.

The film attempts to make this inquiry both fun and accessible. It features an entertaining narrative, musical selections from R.E.M., and comments from law students, lawyers, clients, and scholars from diverse political backgrounds, including Doug Ammar, Robin Barnes, Erwin Chemerinsky, Lawrence Fox, Heather MacDonald, John McGinnis, Russell Pearce, Deborah Rhode, William Simon, Ken Starr, and David Wilkins.

The Viewer’s Guide and the film build on “The Legal Profession as a Blue State: Reflections on Public Philosophy, Jurisprudence, and Legal Ethics,” available at SSRN:

Keywords: legal ethics, legal profession, lawyer's role, moral counseling, hired gun, professionalism, amoral partisan, liberalism, film, lawyers, legal education, continuing legal education, ethics education, professionalism education, political philosophy

Suggested Citation

Pearce, Russell G., Viewer’s Manual for the Film Red State/Blue State: Lawyers, Politics & Moral Counseling (March 18, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Russell G. Pearce (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

140 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States
212-636-6834 (Phone)
212-636-6899 (Fax)

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