The Citizen Lawyer: A Brief Informal History of a Myth with Some Basis in Reality, 50 William & Mary Law Review 1169 (2009)
The term "citizen lawyer" seems to be shorthand for a complex assortment of social types, but the core meaning is plain enough. The citizen lawyer is a lawyer who acts in a significant part of his or her professional life with some plausible vision of the public good and the general welfare in mind. Of course, citizen lawyers, like most lawyers, may seek wealth, power, fame, and reputation for themselves. They may also represent and further the ends of clients with distinctly selfish or antisocial interests. What makes them citizen lawyers, then, is that they also devote time and effort to public ends and values: the service of the Republic, their communities, the ideal of the rule of law, and reforms to enhance the law's efficiency, fairness, and accessibility.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Gordon, Robert W., "The Citizen Lawyer: A Brief Informal History of a Myth with Some Basis in Reality" (2009). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 1398.