The Lost Lawyer & the Lawyer-Statesman Ideal — AALS 2014 — New York, NY

American Association of Law Schools logoThe AALS Section on Professional Responsibility invites papers for its 2014 Annual Meeting program, “THE LOST LAWYER and the Lawyer-Statesman Ideal: A Generation Later – The Shifting Sands of the Profession’s Identity.” The 2014 Annual Meeting will take place Jan. 3-6, 2014, in New York City. Papers should be submitted as soon as possible, but no later than Aug. 31, 2013.

Twenty years after Professor Anthony Kronman published his seminal and controversial book, THE LOST LAWYER: FAILING IDEALS OF THE LEGAL PROFESSION, the question of the role of attorneys in society is more important than ever. In Kronman’s view, early generations of American Lawyers saw the attainment of practical wisdom as their ultimate professional goal. They understood that this wisdom was a character trait “that one acquires only by becoming a person of good judgment, and not just an expert in the law.” Cultivating and exercising this trait was a professional ideal that Kronman called the “lawyer-statesman ideal.” The name stressed the ideal’s “roots in the past and the air of obsolescence“ surrounding it. The ideal described someone with great practical wisdom, exceptional persuasive powers, a devotion to the public good, forgetfulness of one’s self, sympathy for others, and excellent intellectual skills.
Kronman examined the lawyer–statesman ideal in the profession’s three major branches—law schools, law firms, and the courts—and warned that the profession was “in danger of losing its soul.”

Today, tsunami-like forces of change are buffeting the legal profession. Those forces include decreasing law school applications, increasing student debt, diminishing employment prospects, contracting law school budgets, curricular reform, lawyer unemployment and layoffs, rapid technological change, shrinking judicial resources in the face of expanding dockets, increasing bureaucratization of our courts, and many Americans’ lack of access to legal assistance and justice.

The author of the paper selected for this program will present the paper, joining a distinguished panel, including Professor Kronman. Panelists will address the lawyer-statesman ideal, explore related issues and problems, and suggest solutions.

Eligibility: Only full-time faculty members of AALS member law schools are eligible to submit papers. Foreign, visiting (without a full-time position at an AALS member law school) and adjunct faculty members; graduate students; fellows and non-law school faculty are not eligible to submit. Faculty at fee-paid non-member schools are ineligible.

Registration fee and expenses: The author of the paper selected for the program will be responsible for paying his or her annual meeting registration fee and travel expenses.

How papers will be reviewed: The paper will be selected after anonymous review by members of the 2014 Annual Meeting Program Committee listed below. In order to facilitate anonymous review, please identify yourself and your
institutional affiliation only in the cover letter accompanying your manuscript, and not in the manuscript itself.

Members of the 2014 Professional Responsibility Section Program Committee:

  • Jack Sahl (chair), University of Akron School of Law
  • Barbara Glesner Fines, University of Missouri Kansas City School of Law
  • Cassandra Robertson, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
  • Paula Schaefer, University of Tennessee College of Law
  • Norman Spaulding III, Stanford Law School

Publication: The paper along with those of the other panelists will be published by the ABA Journal of the Professional Lawyer.

Length of Submissions and Deadline: Entries of 20 or more double-spaced pages in length should be submitted by August 31, 2013. Please submit as early as possible.

Contact for submission and inquiries: Jack Sahl, The University of Akron School of Law, 150 University Avenue, Akron, OH 44325, jps [at]