Using the Concept of a “Philosophy of Lawyering” in Teaching Professional Responsibility

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Author(s): 
Crystal, Nathan
Publication: 
St. Louis University Law Journal
Volume number: 
51
Year: 
2006
First page number: 
1235
Country: 
USA

Lawyers face many decisions in connection with the practice of law. The most important and most difficult decisions require the exercise of sound professional judgment and discretion. To guide them in the exercise of judgment, lawyers need to develop what I call a "philosophy of lawyering," a principle-based approach for making difficult professional decisions. Law school courses on ethics and professional responsibility can be enriched, deepened, and made more relevant to students if teachers help students begin to develop their own philosophy of lawyering to deal with the difficult questions they will face in the practice of law. In this article I offer suggestions for how this can be done.