In this paper I will explore the idea of a "neutral" lawyer who may have neither "client" (in the conventional sense of client) to represent nor advocacy to perform, yet still be functioning fully as a lawyer or "learned professional" schooled in the law. Indeed, in this paper I will suggest that lawyers may be especially useful in performing a variety of "new" functions that depart from traditional conceptions of the lawyer's role, but which lawyers may be especially well suited to perform. It may be counter-cultural to think of lawyers as "consensus builders," rather than as advocates or makers of conflict, but that is just what effective lawyers must do. I will suggest that lawyers performing such roles may need to reconceptualize their professional roles, the goals they pursue, the activities they engage in and the rules and standards which might govern their behavior. Paradoxically, I also want to suggest that "neutral" lawyers (without clients or advocacy) may be well positioned to achieve or facilitate particular resolutions of legal problems that may contribute to "justice" even more effectively than "non-neutral" advocates.
5 Nev. L.J. 347-369 (2004/2005)
Scholarly Commons Citation
Menkel-Meadow, Carrie, "The Lawyer's Role(s) in Deliberative Democracy" (2004). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. Paper 169.