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Series

Columbia Law School

2001

Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

Articles 1 - 2 of 2

Full-Text Articles in Law

Moral Pluck: Legal Ethics In Popular Culture, William H. Simon Jan 2001

Moral Pluck: Legal Ethics In Popular Culture, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

Favorable portrayals of lawyers in popular culture tend to adopt a distinctive ethical perspective. This perspective departs radically from the premises of the "Conformist Moralism" exemplified by the official ethics of the American bar and the arguments of the proponents of President Clinton's impeachment. While Conformist Moralism is strongly authoritarian and categorical, popular culture exalts a quality that might be called "Moral Pluck " – a combination of resourcefulness and transgression in the service of basic but informal values. This Essay traces the theme of Moral Pluck through three of the most prominent fictional portrayals of lawyers in recent years – the ...


Fear And Loathing Of Politics In The Legal Academy, William H. Simon Jan 2001

Fear And Loathing Of Politics In The Legal Academy, William H. Simon

Faculty Scholarship

In a recent lament about Bush v. Gore, Bruce Ackerman feared that the patent groundlessness of the opinion would convince many of a proposition he attributed to critical legal studies: that law is simply a form of politics.

This remark reflects two tendencies prominent at the Yale Law School in recent years: first, a preoccupation with a now extinct and never very successful movement of left legal academics, and second, a tendency to conflate this movement with the legal conservatism of Jusice Scalia and his collaborators at the University of Chicago and the Rehnquist Court.

These tendencies ride high throughout ...