chapter
6 Pages

The Role of the Lawyer in America

BySamuel J. Ervin

Legal ethics adjudges rightly that "a lawyer has a right to defend a person accused of crime regardless of his personal opinion as to guilt. All public officials and private individuals require competent lawyers to counsel them in respect to the legality of the actions they may contemplate taking in the future, or to act as their advocates in respect to actions they or others may have taken in the past. Whenever anything they deem undesirable from their particular points of view happens, some politically powerful groups of Americans cry out for the immediate enactment of new laws. To protect prospective clients and the public against incompetent or unscrupulous lawyers, government requires every applicant for admission to the bar to demonstrate, in appropriate ways, that he has a fair knowledge of law and a trustworthy character. Moreover, it disbars from further practice lawyers who have shown themselves unworthy of possessing a law license by violating specified laws or ethical standards.