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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 ?
The discussants of the Roundtable will include legal practitioners, regulators and market players, including:
The OSCE Mission has co-operated with the Moldovan National Institute of Justice to support professional development programmes for legal practitioners since 2009.
No-one from his office attended, and the legal practitioners with whom he spoke did not include those of us who put our name to the pamphlet.
Jacob Mutevedzi of Mutamangira and Associates Legal Practitioners to the
The Programme Committee received a few hundred proposals from legal practitioners, academics and representatives of state authorities.
Organised by the Law Society of Namibia in collaboration with the Office of the Ombudsman, legal practitioners in the South, and staff members from the Ombudsman's Keetmanshoop office, the event was used as a pilot to test public response and determine the need for a legal clinic on grassroots level.
The Lower House also passed the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill 2014, to amend the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils Act 1973, and the Services Tribunals (Amendment) Bill 2014, to amend the Services Tribunal Act 1973.
ISLAMABAD -- The Senate on Wednesday passed the Legal Practitioners and Bar Councils (Amendment) Bill 2014 unanimously paving way for establishment of Islamabad Bar Council.
law students studying public international law, competitors in international moot court competitions, and legal practitioners new to the area of public international law--on how to research international law, while simultaneously providing a concise introduction to the substantive legal concepts underlying the subject area.
The scheme's new recruits are: Eva Caldeira Marques in Cape Verde, Cabinet Thomas Dingamgoto in Chad, Martinet & Martinet in Djibouti, Sarwat A Shahid Law Firm in Egypt, Fikadu Law Office in Ethopia, Bikalou Avocats in Gabon, Liberian Legal Service International in Liberia, SCP Yankouri in Niger, SCP Akakpo in Togo and Dube and Manikai & Hwacha Legal Practitioners in Zimbabwe.
Chief executive of the Irish Refugee Council Sue Conlan said: "The strict enforcement of the privacy rule in refugee appeal cases means that legal practitioners, judges and NGOs have very limited access to see how and where the law is being applied.
Mukherjee further said the book would be a guiding light and an inspiration for not just law students, legal practitioners and judges but also every common person concerned about social justice in our country.