lawyer


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Lawyer

A person, who through a regular program of study, is learned in legal matters and has been licensed to practice his or her profession. Any qualified person who prosecutes or defends causes in courts of record or other judicial tribunals of the United States, or of any of the states, or who renders legal advice or assistance in relation to any cause or matter. Unless a contrary meaning is plainly indicated this term is synonymous with attorney, attorney at law, or counselor at law.

Each of the 50 states employs admissions committees or boards to review the backgrounds of prospective attorneys before they are admitted to practice. Each state also has adopted codes of conduct or disciplinary rules and has appointed adjudicative boards to address Attorney Misconduct. But these measures only weed out or discipline those who have violated laws or those who are otherwise unfit to practice law. They have done little to address the day-to-day civility and conduct of attorneys in their practice. In that regard, the behavior and conduct of peers and colleagues within the profession often impose more palpable influences on newly practicing attorneys than any standards or codes of ethics that they may have learned in law school.

A focus of a new movement in several states is not only to crack down on professional misconduct per se, but also to stem borderline conduct before it becomes an ethical violation. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice william rehnquist, addressing new graduates from the University of Virginia School of Law in June 2001, remarked that incivility remained one of the greatest threats to the ideals of American justice and to the public's trust in the law. The conduct of former president bill clinton was considered to have seriously contributed to the harming of public confidence and trust in the legal profession because of his subjective approach to answering questions under oath and other improprieties associated with the legal aspects of his administration.

The American Bar Association (ABA) and lawyers' groups in more than a dozen states have joined in the movement to improve not only civility and courtesy among lawyers, but also the public's perception of the profession. Ultimately, the goal of these efforts is to ensure that attorneys have an unequivocal, current, and realistic standard of conduct and ethics to rely upon as a valid guide for their profession.

lawyer

noun avocat, advocate, attorney, barrister, counsel, counselor, iurisconsultus, iurisperitus, jurisconsult, jurist, legal advisor, legal advocate, legal consultant, legal practitioner, legist, member of the legal profession, solicitor
Associated concepts: admission to bar, attorney-client privvlege, bar association, character and fitness committee, code of professional conduct, grievance committee, work product
See also: advocate, attorney, barrister, counsel, counselor, esquire, jurist, practitioner, proctor, proxy, representative

LAWYER. A counselor; one learned in the law. Vide attorney.

References in classic literature ?
Once or twice the lawyer looked up and asked a question of Szedvilas; the other did not know a word that he was saying, but his eyes were fixed upon the lawyer's face, striving in an agony of dread to read his mind.
And when that lawyer was done telling the jury what he was going to prove, he set down and begun to work his witnesses.
Pendril the medical decision which, thus far, refused him the interview that he sought, she added a brief statement of the legal question she had put to the doctors; and hinted delicately at her natural anxiety to be informed of the motives which had led the lawyer to make his request.
It is a maxim among these lawyers that whatever has been done before, may legally be done again: and therefore they take special care to record all the decisions formerly made against common justice, and the general reason of mankind.
He was so thorough that, when he became a Bell lawyer, he first spent an entire summer at his country home in Petersham, studying the laws of physics and electricity.
Enfield and the lawyer were on the other side of the by-street; but when they came abreast of the entry, the former lifted up his cane and pointed.
Edwards, as he rather rushed than walked from the house, was the little square-built lawyer, with a large bundle of papers under his arm, a pair of green spectacles on his nose, with glasses at the sides, as if to multiply his power of detecting frauds by additional organs of vision.
The lawyer turns, leans his arms on the iron railing at the top of the steps, and looks at the lamplighter lighting the court-yard.
Oh, most certainly--most certainly," the lawyer declared emphatically.
Moody had evidently been waiting outside while the lawyer spoke for him.
But as the man was a lawyer, his interference went for nothing: it was naturally attributed to the spirit of contradiction inherent in his profession.
You are exposing yourself to a grave danger," said a Lawyer.