The Promise of Client-Centered Professional Norms

9 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2012

Date Written: January 1, 2012


In this year’s Saltman Lecture, Jennifer Gerarda Brown and Liana G.T. Wolf argue that restorative justice models have much to offer a broken attorney disciplinary system. While their specific proposals are problematic for reasons discussed more fully in this article, there is considerable merit to the authors’ larger point that the lawyer disciplinary system could benefit from incorporating a greater level of client participation. The authors point to a number of the benefits of a more client-participatory attorney disciplinary system, including the opportunity for lawyers to better appreciate the consequences of their misconduct, the opportunity to focus on repairing the harm done to clients, and the opportunity to restore the public’s faith in the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system. This Comment focuses primarily on an additional benefit that might flow from more client-participatory attorney disciplinary proceedings: by opening the disciplinary process to the perspectives of clients, the legal profession gets the opportunity to evolve more client-centered norms of professional conduct.

Keywords: Restorative justice, attorney discipline, professional conduct, attorney disciplinary system, client-participatory

JEL Classification: K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Kruse, Kate, The Promise of Client-Centered Professional Norms (January 1, 2012). Nevada Law Review, Vol. 12, p. 341, Spring 2012, Available at SSRN:

Kate Kruse (Contact Author)

Mitchell Hamline School of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States

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