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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.


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 periodicals archive ?
But as per the reports posted on the apex court's website, the committee had received just two complaints in the last two years from lady lawyers In both cases the accused were let off lightly.
There was a really good lady lawyer working for another law firm, and they thought it was about time to get one, too.
Tony's wife Carmela (Edie Falco) wanted to make sure daughter Meadow (Jamie-Lynn Sigler) got into the right sort of college and approached a reluctant lady lawyer for help.
Matador Death is sexy to an ex-matador, a lady lawyer, an a youth (Banderas, above) driven nuts by religion.
Then there is the lady lawyer from the defense fund who no longer eats animal products.
Even when Jack was shot to death by his crazed lady lawyer right in front of her, sour-faced Sam was still looking firmly down her nose.
This is the first volume of a series featuring lady lawyer Kristen Kerry and Clark's readers will look eagerly toward his next Kristen Kerry novel.
Chakwal, March 02, 2012 (Frontier Star): The lawyers of District Chakwal observed complete strike on second day to condemn the torture on the father and brother of a lady lawyer in the police custody.