Rebellious Heroes

23 Clinical L. Rev. 283 (2016)

28 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2016 Last revised: 14 Oct 2022

Date Written: October 24, 2016


This article invites readers to consider the role our childhood heroes and ideas of heroism play in shaping the lawyers we become. It interprets Gerald Lopez’s Rebellious Lawyering as a rejection of reigning views of heroism that society inculcates and law school reinforces. The article differentiates Lopez’s vision of lawyering from the client-centered approach, clarifying how lawyering can be client-centered, but not rebellious. The article responds to three main criticisms of the book — that it too harshly judges “regnant” lawyers, sets too high a standard for rebellious lawyers, and paints too rosy a picture of clients and communities. These critiques, the article argues, fail to appreciate that Lopez aims to depict a model of practice toward which to aspire, one he recognizes none of us will consistently reach, but nonetheless hopes to entice some of us to pursue, as we work to remake our world.

Keywords: rebellious lawyering, democratic lawyering, client-centered lawyering

Suggested Citation

Piomelli, Ascanio, Rebellious Heroes (October 24, 2016). 23 Clinical L. Rev. 283 (2016), Available at SSRN:

Ascanio Piomelli (Contact Author)

UC Law, San Francisco ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States

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