In Hell There Will Be Lawyers Without Clients or Law
UVA Law Faculty Affiliations
More than twenty years ago, moral philosopher Richard Wasserstrom framed the debate in legal ethics by asking two questions.' Does the lawyer's duty to zealously represent the client, constrained only by the bounds of the law, render the lawyer "at best systematically amoral and at worst more than occasionally immoral in her dealings with the rest of mankind[?]''And is the lawyer's relationship with the client likewise morally tainted in that it generally entails domination by the lawyer over the client rather than mutual respect? Wasserstrom answered both questions affirmatively. Though these questions have preoccupied legal ethics scholars ever since, they are the wrong questions. They were off-base when posed and, if anything, are even more off-base today.