Wortham, Scherr, Maurer, Brooks (eds), LEARNING FROM PRACTICE: A Text for Experiential Legal Education, 3rd Ed., West Academic 2016

Albany Law School Research Paper No. 3 for 2017-2018

24 Pages Posted: 21 Apr 2017 Last revised: 6 Sep 2017

Date Written: March 1, 2016


This chapter on Professionalism is a new chapter in Learning From Practice: A Text for Experiential Legal Education.

This chapter looks at themes of professionalism in law practice, including expected norms of lawyer behavior in dealing with clients, courts, legal adversaries, and others. It explores various concepts of professionalism, the values attached to being professional, and how lawyer conduct affects reputation, clients, the legal system, and the profession in general. First, the chapter discusses what professionalism means and the reasons it matters. The chapter then explores ideals of professionalism based on civility and considers whether rules of civility make a difference and whether such rules should be mandated. Next, the chapter examines professionalism in relation to Rules of Professional Conduct and considers how ethical duties to clients, and in particular zeal in advocacy, at times may conflict with duties toward third parties, opponents, and tribunals, or with expected norms of conduct related to court efficiency and the administration of justice. The chapter additionally looks at professional reputation and offers tips for practicing professionalism. Finally, the chapter considers professionalism as incorporating concepts of individual and collective moral good.

Keywords: professionalism, ethics, values, civility, lawyer conduct

Suggested Citation

Maurer, Nancy, Professionalism (March 1, 2016). Albany Law School Research Paper No. 3 for 2017-2018. Available at SSRN:

Nancy Maurer (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

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