What Makes a Good Lawyer? Was Magnaud Indeed Such a Good Judge?

Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht (Austrian: Journal of Public Law), Vol. 2, pp. 275-287, 2007

10 Pages Posted: 29 Aug 2011 Last revised: 25 Nov 2012

Date Written: August 28, 2009

Abstract

The author analyses the style of thinking of a “good” lawyer, meaning by “good” desirable professional skills and not moral goodness. He argues that a good lawyer is narrow minded in the sense that he or she uses only legal arguments and translates all other types of arguments (e.g. moral or economic ones) into legal ones. Another feature is a pragmatic procedural approach concentrating on enforcement, rather than merely on the substantive legal issues. And finally, the most important characteristic of a good lawyer is two-tier thinking. This means that he or she has to comply both with an internal (typically lawyerly) criterion of argumentation and an external criterion of assessment.

Keywords: jurisprudence, legal method, legal reasoning, Begriffsjurisprudenz, conceptual system of law (Rechtsdogmatik), law and morality

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Jakab, Andras, What Makes a Good Lawyer? Was Magnaud Indeed Such a Good Judge? (August 28, 2009). Zeitschrift für öffentliches Recht (Austrian: Journal of Public Law), Vol. 2, pp. 275-287, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1918420 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1918420

Andras Jakab (Contact Author)

University of Salzburg ( email )

Kapitelgasse 5-7.
Salzburg, 5020
Austria

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