in The Lawyer's Myth

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780226042558
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226042565 | DOI:

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This chapter addresses the effect of the law school experience on students' moral character. This is a reflective process intended to draw students into thinking of themselves as people first and lawyers second. Passion in one's life's work does not come from a perfection of lawyer's skills or monetary success. It comes from connection with parts of oneself that are rarely recognized in law school or in much of the current lore about being a good lawyer. The two fundamental attitudinal problems are the compulsion to moral minimalism and the feelings of impotency and loneliness. A passionate life calls on something much deeper and greater than anything yielded by the traditional notions of professional success. It has to do with finding within oneself those hungry, persistent, and inspired remnants of selfhood where passion resides and with placing one's work as a lawyer, with all the attendant skills and devotion it requires, in the larger context of one's life and one's place in the world.

Keywords: law school; moral character; passionate life; selfhood; lawyer

Chapter.  3500 words. 

Subjects: Legal System and Practice

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