Inaugural Howard Lichtenstein Lecture in Legal Ethics: Lawyer Professionalism as a Moral Argument

Thomas L. Shaffer, Inaugural Howard Lichtenstein Lecture in Legal Ethics: Lawyer Professionalism as a Moral Argument, 26 Gonz. L. Rev. 393 (1990)

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The recurrent movement to call or recall lawyers to professionalism is a moral argument. It is an argument made to individual lawyers, a claim among lawyers, that professionalism has to do with being a good person. I propose to discuss that claim with you today, and in doing so to salute, in a modest way, the generosity of the late Mr. Lichtenstein’s law firm (Proskauer, Rose, Goetz, and Mendelsohn) to your university.

I also hope to salute my friend and colleague in legal ethics, your Lichtenstein Professor, Monroe H. Freedman. I can hardly think of a moral issue among lawyers, during my thirty years in the profession, that Professor Freedman has not enriched because he paid attention to it. His attention to moral questions has been peculiarly important for us because he, more than anyone else in the field, refuses to be hoodwinked by pretension orhumbugged by phrases.

He is always clear-sighted and never destructive; he addresses our critical moral worries with learned clarity, with energy, and with good will. He makes the profession better by being in it. I am honored to be invited to Hofstra to inaugurate a lecture series that will, I trust, flourish as one of the benefits to Hofstra of Monroe Freedman’s Howard Lichtenstein Professorship… Read More

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