Saturday, August 27, 2016

Article – Monroe Freedman’s Influence in Legal Education – Professional Responsibility: A Contemporary Approach

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When I was in law school there was only one ethical principle that mattered.  We wanted to be "people's lawyers" in Prof. Arthur Kinoy's phrase.  We wanted to be on the side of the angels - properly understood as those fighting for racial justice women's rights, and for some of us, workers' rights. There was no course in Professional Responsibility and I don't think anyone ever mentioned the canons of ethics.  Watergate and its raft of jailed lawyers changed that.  But so did Monroe Freedman.
I never met Monroe, though I corresponded with him quite a few times.  We agreed that the prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case crossed the line, and we agreed in our otions of loyalty to clients, and our general pro-defense stance.  Here Peter Joy explores his impact on legal education. Monroe was a lawyer's law professor.  - gwc
Article – Monroe Freedman’s Influence in Legal Education – Professional Responsibility: A Contemporary Approach
By Peter A. Joy

Monroe Freedman’s influence on legal education was profound by any measure. He was much more than a gifted scholar and teacher, though he was both of those, as well as an accomplished lawyer. He was also the antithesis of a law professor disconnected from the practice
of law, who produces scholarship that has little to no relationship to the practice of law.
Monroe Freedman’s list of achievements and honors is extensive and includes trial and
appellate litigation in several state and federal courts and before administrative agencies; election to the American Law Institute and as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation; and several state and national bar awards for his contributions to the field of professional responsibility, influential
scholarship in the field of lawyers’ ethics, and contributions to legal education and public service.
  As a law professor and a lawyer, he was the first to argue and successfully litigate that the ABA lawyer advertising restrictions violated the First Amendment.  In 1970, while teaching at George Washington University School of Law, he also directed the Stern Community Law Firm in Washington, D.C., to conduct public interest litigation. The public interest law firm ran advertisements that drew complaints leading the legal ethics and grievance committee of the District of Columbia Bar Association to investigate.  The bar committee ruled that, based on the First Amendment to the Constitution as well asother reasons, nonprofit law firms could advertise, which was the first such ruling in the United States.  
Six years later, in Bates v. State Bar of Arizona (1977), the U.S. Supreme Court held that the First Amendment protected truthful advertising of routine legal services.  The Court cited to Freedman for the idea that the legal profession’s failure to advertise may create public disillusionment with the legal profession. ...

Monroe Freedman raised questions about lawyers, their role in an adversary system, and the importance of loyalty to clients. He also demonstrated that law professors could effectively teach legal ethics not only in a Legal Ethics course but also in other courses, using his first year  Contracts course as an example. Through his scholarship and his teaching, Freedman greatly influenced legal education in the content of Legal Ethics courses, as well as how those courses are taught

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