Inaugural Howard Lichtenstein Lecture in Legal Ethics: Lawyer Professionalism as a Moral Argument
26 Gonz. L. Rev. 393 (1990-1991)
The recurrent movement to call or recall lawyers to professionalism is a moral argument. It is an argument made to individual lawyers, a claim among lawyers, that professionalism has to do with being a good person.
I see two aspects to the claim that professionalism is a moral value: one aspect says to a person "be professional." It is an admonition to virtue. The other aspect says to a person, "be in the profession—be of it," with an appeal that seems familiar from other admonitions we have heard to align ourselves with groups that are supposed to make us better persons: Join the youth group at the temple, or at the church; be a Scout; if you want to meet nice people don't go to bars. Let's look at these two aspects of professionalism one at a time.
Thomas L. Shaffer,
Inaugural Howard Lichtenstein Lecture in Legal Ethics: Lawyer Professionalism as a Moral Argument,
26 Gonz. L. Rev. 393 (1990-1991).
Available at: https://scholarship.law.nd.edu/law_faculty_scholarship/786
Reprinted with permission of Gonzaga Law Review.