The field of legal ethics, as we know it today, has grown out of thoughtful, systematic grounding of lawyers’ duties in a comprehensive understanding of lawyers’ roles and the situating of lawyers’ roles in underlying theories of law, morality, and justice. Unfortunately, in the process, the field of theoretical legal ethics has mostly lost track of the thing that Freedman insisted was at the heart of a lawyers’ role: the integrity of the lawyer-client relationship. As I will discuss, the field of theoretical legal ethics has developed in ways that are deeply lawyer-centered rather than fundamentally client-centered. I am going to speak about how that happened. I am also going to share some of my ideas about what it would mean to ground a fundamentally client-centered conception of lawyers’ duties to represent a client zealously within the bounds of the law in moral, political, and jurisprudential theory.
39 Hofstra L. Rev. 577 (2011).