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This Symposium reminds us of our most important work, to protect legal institutions and the rule of law, and asks this most provocative question: Will 21st Century Business, Regulatory, and Educational Challenges Destroy the Lawyer's Role As Guardian of Legal Institutions and the Rule of Law?To some Symposium participants, the question posed is too dystopian. Is survival of the rule of law really at stake? For others, the Symposium question suggests a prior, even darker one: How can we conserve what is already lost? How, indeed, will we conserve legal institutions and the role of law? Are we, as lawyers, up to this great task? If lawyers cannot do this work, who will?

The answers collected here are varied in premise, method, and substance. Readers will find the existing legal institutions of professional regulation and legal education passionately defended and equally passionately condemned. Market pressures are welcomed and denounced. The moods range from despair to delight, from alarm to steady confidence. The answers sometimes float on the romance of idealism, sometimes are driven by flinty realism, and sometimes proceed in simple, pragmatic, step-by-step forward motion. The common threads are expertise and a deep commitment to the importance of the Symposium's question.

Publication Citation

2012 Mich. St. L. Rev. 243 (2012).