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The Lawyer's MythReviving Ideals in the Legal Profession$
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Walter Bennett

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780226042558

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226042565.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.13) 2 The Dark Landscape of the Profession: The Legal Academy and the Loss of Ideals
Source:
The Lawyer's Myth
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226042565.003.0003

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

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