In the Interests of Justice

In the Interests of Justice : Reforming the Legal Profession

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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 whose ethical 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 House Judiciary 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, the commercialization 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 legal education 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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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 144.3 x 229.1 x 19.6mm | 381.02g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Revised ed.
  • 0195165543
  • 9780195165548
  • 2,170,329

Review quote

"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 legal system, the role of the law schools, and 'life' in contemporary law practice."-Geoffrey C. Hazard, Jr., Trustee Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania "This is an important and timely book. It provides a comprehensive survey of the common complaints against lawyers and the legal system; a careful analysis of the most serious problems with the way lawyers perform their jobs, and make-or fail to make-available their services, and an imposing array of ambitious but workable proposals for reform. The book expertly builds upon the best that has been thought and said about legal ethics and legal practices in the last
25 years."-Robert W. Gordon, Fred A. Johnston Professor of Law, Yale University "Rhode brings a livley style to a subject that is more typically covered in a drone of rhetoric and legalese. Her frame of reference is expansive enough to include Seneca, Dostoevski, Wilde, Auden and even a New Yorker cartoon in which a lawyer asks his client: 'So, Mr. Pitikin, how much justice can you afford?' ....It's refreshing to read a book about lawyers that ponders 'the profession's moral universe' without a sarcastic smirk.'"-Jonathan Kirsch,
The Washington Post Book World
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About Deborah L. Rhode

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 Legal Ethics, The Legal Profession: Responsibility and Regulation and, forthcoming from OUP, Ethics in
Practice: Lawyers' Roles, Responsibilities, and Regulation. She lives in Stanford, California.
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Rating details

6 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 17% (1)
4 33% (2)
3 50% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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