The Dark Landscape of the Profession: The Legal Academy and the Loss of Ideals

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:
The Dark Landscape of the Profession: The Legal Academy and the Loss of Ideals

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There is a legitimate pedagogical purpose in the educational method and a great fallacy in that method as well. That fallacy is the notion that one can dismiss ideals from an educational process without them being replaced by other goals and motivations. It is the notion that by dismissing those higher, often confusing ideals such as justice, one can simply learn to think like a lawyer in some sort of antiseptic space uncontaminated by moral considerations. And it is the notion that, having encouraged students to set aside ideals such as justice in order to learn to think like lawyers, law schools have no obligation to reintroducing those ideals in the educational process. The legal academy has applied Holmes's limited-purpose formula quite broadly and given it an interpretation that appeals to those who advocate a very limited moral role for lawyers: i.e., the lawyer's job is simply to advise, counsel, and assist his client. The attempt in the academy to separate legal education from moral considerations, without an attendant effort to in some fashion reunite them, is an arrogant act and has lead to much of the ethical malaise present in the profession today.

Keywords: legal academy; education method; profession; Holme's law; lawyer

Chapter.  6909 words. 

Subjects: Legal System and Practice

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