In the Interests of Justice: Reforming the Legal Profession

Paperback | September 10, 2003

byDeborah L. Rhode

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Two thousand years ago, Seneca described advocates not as seekers of truth but as accessories to injustice, "smothered by their prosperity." This unflattering assessment has only worsened over time. The vast majority of Americans now perceive lawyers as arrogant, unaffordable hired guns whoseethical practices rank just slightly above those of used car salesmen. In this penetrating new book, Deborah L. Rhode goes beyond the commonplace attacks on lawyers to provide the first systematic study of the structural problems confronting the legal profession. A past president of the Association of American Law Schools and senior counsel for the HouseJudiciary Committee during Clinton's impeachment proceedings, Rhode brings an insider's knowledge to the labyrinthine complexities of how the law works, or fails to work, for most Americans and often for lawyers themselves. She sheds much light on problems with the adversary system, thecommercialization of practice, bar disciplinary processes, race and gender bias, and legal education. She argues convincingly that the bar's current self-regulation must be replaced by oversight structures that would put the public's interests above those of the profession. She insists that legaleducation become more flexible, by offering less expensive degree programs that would prepare paralegals to provide much needed low cost assistance. Most important, she calls for a return to ethical standards that put public service above economic self-interest. Elegantly written and touching on such high profile cases as the O.J. Simpson trial and the Starr investigation, In the Interests of Justice uncovers fundamental flaws in our legal system and proposes sweeping reforms.

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Two thousand years ago, Seneca described advocates not as seekers of truth but as accessories to injustice, "smothered by their prosperity." This unflattering assessment has only worsened over time. The vast majority of Americans now perceive lawyers as arrogant, unaffordable hired guns whoseethical practices rank just slightly above ...

Deborah L. Rhode is Professor of Law and Director of the Keck Center on Legal Ethics and the Legal Profession at Stanford Law School. A past president of the Association of American Law Schools and senior counsel for the House Judiciary Committee on impeachment issues during Clinton's impeachment proceedings, she is the author of Lega...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 5.59 × 8.82 × 0.91 inPublished:September 10, 2003Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195165543

ISBN - 13:9780195165548

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"A thoughtful and well documented analysis, from a broad public perspective, of basic and enduring problems of the American legal profession. In the Interests of Justice presents the insights of a distinguished scholar into legal ethics, the cost of legal services, the delays in the legalsystem, the role of the law schools, and 'life' in contemporary law practice."--Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr., Trustee Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania