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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

July 19, 2003

Professionalism, Competence, Diligence, etc.

Filed under: — David Giacalone @ 9:36 pm

Below are ethicalEsq-f/k/a postings and annotated web resources on this topic. Find our full list of annotated ethics links by clicking the Client Rights & Legal Ethics link on the Navigation Bar

On Being a Happy, Healthy, and Ethical Member of an Unhappy, Unhealthy, and Unethical Profession, 52 Vand. L. Rev. 871 (81 pp pdf., [condensed here]), by Professor Patrick J. Schiltz, is a “must read” for anyone who truly cares about the well-being of individual lawyers and about the future of the legal profession. [Click for a useful condensed version from the Washington State Bar Association Bar News (Jan. 2000), and see excerpts and a summary in our 2003 post.]

legal sanity The purpose of this weblog by lawyer Arnie Herz “is to raise public consciousness and facilitate discussion about our distressed legal profession and the ground-breaking work that’s being done to move it in a saner direction” Arnie hopes “to revitalize the law as a noble calling through which lawyers can gain a sense of fulfillment without sacrificing savvy client representation or financial gain.” Good goals and a good site for your RSS feed.

Shakespeare and Lawyers Your Editor reflects on the profession’s reaction to the famous quote about killing all the lawyers.

Restrict Lawyers’ Licenses Authored by attorney Ralph Warner, this Soap Box Column states that “A license to practice law is no guarantee of legal knowledge, skill or experience. Incompetent lawyers regularly mislead and defraud clients who rely on the promise of expertise that the lawyer label brings.” Warner concludes:

“When it comes to lawyers who sell personal legal services, a lawyer’s license should be limited to specific subject areas — for example, family law, criminal law, tax or probate. A separate exam should be given for each specialty. That way, an exam could test the skills and knowledge needed by a lawyer who wants to represent clients in a particular legal subject area.”

Protecting lawyers, not clients In this article by George C. Leef (for the Cato Institute), the author argues that “The best means of delivering affordable legal services to the public with minimal risk of harm is through a competitive marketplace, backed up with remedies for fraud and incompetence. Professionals want to do competent work for their clients. Fear of failure and financial loss is a stronger deterrent to incompetent work than any licensing scheme” and concludes that Competition works as well in legal services as in other markets. But we’ll have to get rid of the UPL statutes to enjoy the benefits.”

Thinking Like A Lawyer: Second Thoughts [47 Mercer L. Rev. 511], by James R. Elkins

Uneasy Burden: What it Really Means to Learn to Think like a Lawyer [47 Mercer L. Rev. 543], by Peter R. Teachout.

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