The Humanity of Advocacy

13 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2011

See all articles by Barry Sullivan

Barry Sullivan

Loyola University Chicago School of Law


This paper considers three ways in which advocacy is related to what it means to be "human." The first is grounded in the nature of legal disputes, and in our expectations as a society of how those disputes are to be resolved in a way that is fair and just. The second arises from the fundamentally human character of the lawyer-client relationship, and the act of sharing expert legal knowledge, judgment and advice with another human being in need of those things. The third way advocacy has to do with humanity relates to the activity itself, which has to do with persuasion. Whether in a legal context or not, persuasion is a quintessentially human activity. It is this third aspect that forms the focus of the paper's exploration of the ways in which legal advocacy has to do with what it is to be human.

Keywords: Advocacy, appellate advocacy, law and humanities

JEL Classification: K10, K40, K41

Suggested Citation

Sullivan, Barry, The Humanity of Advocacy. Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, Vol. 42, No. 1, 2010, Loyola University Chicago School of Law Research Paper No. 2011-001, Available at SSRN:

Barry Sullivan (Contact Author)

Loyola University Chicago School of Law ( email )

25 E. Pearson
Chicago, IL 60611
United States


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