Teacher’s Guide for Revitalizing the Lawyer-Poet: What Lawyers Can Learn from Rock and Roll

7 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2010

See all articles by Russell G. Pearce

Russell G. Pearce

Fordham University School of Law

Katrina Baker

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: June 1, 2006


This text provides a lesson plan for a two to three hour class on ethics and professionalism based on the fifteen minute film essay, "Revitalizing the Lawyer Poet: What Lawyers Can Learn From Rock and Roll." The teaching materials are appropriate for law school orientations and classes, as well as for continuing legal education programs for lawyers.

The film essay and teaching materials use the music of Jimi Hendrix and news footage featuring Martin Luther King, Jr., Richard Nixon, and Bill and Hilary Clinton, to teach the basic elements of professionalism and to challenge lawyers to develop their own understanding of how they can fulfill their duty to the public good through their everyday work. The film also explores why commentators assert that the bar faces a “crisis of professionalism” and whether lawyers have a responsibility to promote access to justice for low and middle income Americans. The film argues that "lawyers can make money, have fun, and do good, all at the same time." The Teacher’s Guide asks viewers whether they agree.

Inspired by the scholarship of Russell Pearce, the Edward & Marilyn Bellet Professor for Legal Ethics, Morality, and Religion at Fordham Law School and a co-director of the Louis Stein Center for Law & Ethics at Fordham Law School, the film is directed by Brian Danitz, Sundance Film Festival featured Director and Cinematographer for Academy and Emmy Award–winning films.

Keywords: Legal Ethics, Professional Responsibility, Professionalism, Ethics Teaching, Ethics Pedagogy, Continuing Legal Education, Public Good, Legal Profession, Business-Profession Dichotomy, Rock and Roll

Suggested Citation

Pearce, Russell G. and Baker, Katrina, Teacher’s Guide for Revitalizing the Lawyer-Poet: What Lawyers Can Learn from Rock and Roll (June 1, 2006). Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1623303, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1623303 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1623303

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)

Katrina Baker

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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