What Lawyers, What Edge?

When Monroe Freedman called and said that the conference was to be titled “Lawyering at the Edge,” my response was like that of Professor Steven Gillers. I said, “the edge of what?” An edge implies a shape, an area, and theoretically on this surface, we are to localize lawyer behavior, and, again as Steven Gillers recognized, the rules cannot define the edge. They simply describe ways of seeing it. These ways of seeing or interpreting are influenced by the independence of the bar as an institution and the requirement of lawyer autonomy, as well as by the content of the rules themselves. Some of the rules, such as the ones that require zeal on behalf of clients when we are engaged in advocacy, operate under social and historical circumstances that make it inevitable that the edge will be difficult to define.

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