Lawyers' Ethics and the Pursuit of Social Justice

A Critical Reader

425 pages

August, 2005

ISBN: 9780814716403

Subjects:

Law

Part of the Critical America series

Authors

Susan D. Carle is Professor of Law at Washington College of Law, American University in Washington, D.C.

All books by Susan D. Carle

All books by Robert W. Gordon

Legal ethics should be far more than a set of rules on professional responsibility; they can serve as a means for changing power relations, empowering the disenfranchised, and advocating progressive social change. Lawyers’ Ethics and the Pursuit of Social Justice broadens the discussion on legal ethics by first introducing the historical and theoretical background and then connecting it to real world issues while addressing lawyers' ethical obligations to work for social justice.

The reader features differing critical approaches and opens up new avenues of ethical debate. While the literature included is diverse and interdisciplinary, it shares a vision of legal ethical inquiry as a means for changing power relations, empowering the disenfranchised, and advocating progressive social change. Through a combination of provocative selections, lively writing, concrete examples of cases and social movements, and incisive editorial commentary, Lawyers’ Ethics and the Pursuit of Social Justice defines the emergence of an exciting new field of critical legal ethics scholarship.

Reviews

  • “Susan Carle has done an extraordinary service. Her collection is sophisticated, challenging, and desperately needed. The legal academy is often sadly prone to treat the ethics of lawyering as an afterthought or a necessary nuisance. This smart collection of critical essays gives the subject the serious attention it deserves.”

    —Peggy Cooper Davis, New York University School of Law

  • “Carle has put together an important collection of readings. This book will be a valuable addition to any course on the legal profession.”

    —David Wilkins, Harvard Law School

  • “Susan Carle’s book brings together the best writings on the more visionary and justice-seeking goals of the legal profession. Lawyers should serve society, clients at large, as well as clients in need. This book will be assigned reading in courses devoted to lawyering and social justice—it should be required reading for all legal professionals.”

    —Carrie Menkel-Meadow, Georgetown University Law Center

  • “Lawyers and law students alike will benefit from this volume's strong and persuasive reminder that traditional ‘good'’lawyering and a moral commitment to social justice can walk hand in hand. Teachers who want to remind students of why they came to law school—to leave the world a better place than they found it—will find this book a great asset.”

    —Richard Zitrin, author of Legal Ethics in the Practice of Law