lawyering, public perception, history


This Article seeks to explain the negative perception the legal profession and lawyers have in the eyes of the American public. Disregarding common answers such as the disproportionate amount of influence lawyers have or high salaries and extravagant lifestyles, this Article argues that a cultural shift has led many Americans to see the law as an arbitrary device. Consequently, this belief is reinforced by lawyers and and perpetuated by law schools, leading to the negative perception of the legal profession. In the process, the Article addresses five main issues: the definition and purpose of the law, the republican theory of lawyering, the realities and effectiveness of modern day law school, whether a republican theory of lawyering is in line with American realities, and prescriptions for the future.

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