Chapter

A Preface to New Ideals: Coming to Terms with the Historical Masculinity of the Profession

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226042565.003.0009
A Preface to New Ideals: Coming to Terms with the Historical Masculinity of the Profession

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The way to heal the legal profession as a profession is to take the understanding of what a profession is—a community of people similarly trained and with shared ideals, which is consciously in service to that which is greater than itself—and reconceive the meaning of this definition in the context of developing world. Historically the legal profession was exclusive by race and gender and to some degree social class. The legal profession in America began to institutionalize masculine characteristics after the Revolutionary War when the legal profession became a full-time occupation whose practitioners were no longer men of letters who practiced law as one of several occupations but devotees who made a career of honing ever-sharper skills of reasoning and rhetoric. Those myths grew from a masculine profession and portrayed the masculine ideals of the good lawyer or judge, but they showed a softer, more humane, and more morally conscious side of lawyers.

Keywords: legal profession; masculine; lawyers; Revolutionary War; developing world

Chapter.  4940 words. 

Subjects: Legal System and Practice

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