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It is an honor to join the list of illustrious persons who have been asked to deliver the prestigious Alfred P. Murrah Lecture. Although the title of my lecture is "The Solicitor General and the American Legal Ideal," I want to make clear at the beginning that I do not claim for myself the mantle of the ideal lawyer. After being the Solicitor General for almost two years, however, I have reached some tentative observations on how my office, the Office of the Solicitor General of the United States, has in some measure been able to attain and maintain the mentality of the ideal lawyer of yesteryear.

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