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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 ?
Rusher took that as an opening and began, in his calm, lawyerly way, asking questions that framed the transaction as a public-relations disaster.
Ultimately, the "fighting chance" for winning women's suffrage was lost not because of Wendell Phillips's arrogance or Elizabeth Cady Stanton's lawyerly style of argumentation, but because Americans remained immersed in a climate of intense racial conflict.
Was this lawyerly talk or naivety of British India's most eminent brown sahib?
government sources, as well as extensive interviews with the officers and crew who served in the Persian Gulf during the fifteen-month war, Zatarain examines and explains with lawyerly precision the events that constituted the U.
AoIt was a clever, lawyerly, almost Ciceronian performance in which Blair trotted out all the usual arguments and gave a display of his question-dodging skill.
That rather lawyerly wording means Iranian-Americans who are not "ordinarily resident in Iran" can use their American bank accounts to pay bills.
Bill Doll looks back at a century of lawyerly vanity, and finds that it's not all bad--but too much of it can derail truly effective marketing plans.
In terms of Clinton, [Obama] shows a lawyerly intellectual approach.
Schoenfeld was a gracious, lawyerly type who led the rehabilitation of Times Square.
Indeed, in each case, Barra carefully lays out with lawyerly calm the protocol for resolving the question and then follows his guidelines to reach what seems to be a perfectly logical conclusion.
It's a suffering that nobody, even us Palestinians, can begin to comprehend," he says with quiet, lawyerly persistence.
Spare us also the lawyerly official statements, the propaganda designed to obscure and to mislead (although I suppose we should be grateful for any communication from the club, since you and your executive team are so camera shy).