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33 Mercer L. Rev. 877 (1981-1982)


My view of legal ethics rests on, or at least involves, a couple of biases. For one thing, I think of legal ethics as an ethical subject rather than as a legal subject. When it comes to "professional responsibility" I am more interested in morals than I am in law. In this (and in very little else), I am in agreement with Dean Monroe Freedman, who said, in a lecture dedicated to the memory of Pope John XXIII, that the question which interests him is whether a good person can be a lawyer. For Freedman, I think, and for me, the interesting question has to do with the goodness of being a lawyer. But to say that is also to make the claim, which I do, that moral questions can be talked about with the analytical rigor we lawyers are thought to bring to legal questions. And to claim intellectual rigor for legal ethics is to disapprove, as I did in an earlier discussion, of the way people in law school usually go about dealing with moral questions. I have four positions to state at this point.


Reprinted with permission of Mercer Law Review.



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