In the Public or Private Interest? Rethinking the Role of the Legal Aid Lawyer
Brown, David D.
Washington and Lee University -- Capstone in Shepherd Poverty Program
Legal assistance to the poor
Values -- Moral and ethical aspects
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David D. Brown is a member of the Class of 2000 of Washington and Lee University School of Law.Capstone; [FULL-TEXT FREELY AVAILABLE ONLINE]This essay attempts to examine a theoretical question from a practical standpoint: is it possible, or even desirable, for the legal aid lawyer to pursue a greater mission -- and if so, what should that mission be? It is my hope that by analyzing the attorney-client relationship, one might discover an approach to legal aid lawyering that is more enriching to both client and counselor: one that not only helps clients achieve their 'private', short-term goals, but also serves a community interest consistent with 'public' service aspirations. I will approach this subject by examining three basic areas: the roles of lawyer and client, how those roles play out in the attorney-client relationship, and finally how lawyers might be able to square the tension between seeking justice for the client (as an individual) and having a positive impact on larger issues of social justice. [From introductory section]David D. Brown