Advocating for Teaching Students about the Role of Lawyer as Counselor – Winning Isn't Always Everything
The Law Teacher, Vol. 16, p. 6, 2009
2 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2010
Date Written: 2009
From the very first day of law school, students learn about the law through the lens of litigated cases and through the eyes of a lawyer in the role of advocate – a lawyer that is supposed to argue for a particular position or a cause. However, lawyers serve crucial roles that do not focus on making arguments or “winning,” but on planning, advising, and counseling their clients on a wide variety of matters, such as risk assessment, avoidance of potential legal problems, and the resolution of disputes without resorting to litigation. This is true for many different types of lawyer, but especially for the transactional lawyer who negotiates and drafts contracts. This article explains how to design a transactional drafting course that introduces students to the role of lawyer as counselor, and provides suggestions for introducing students to the role of lawyer as counselor in all of their first year required courses, without the need for abandoning the use of appellate cases.
Keywords: Lawyer as Counselor, Transactional Lawyers, Contract Drafting
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