St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

Article Title

Lawyers as Caregivers

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Date Created



St. Mary's University School of Law


Bailey Rider

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This Article argues that clients—much like patients in a healthcare setting—need their lawyers to be caregivers. The Article opens by developing a definition of caregiving in medicine and law. It then turns to five key components of caregiving in medicine, explaining the substantial research that this care is crucial for patient satisfaction, trust, and healing. Medical educators have drawn on this research to better prepare medical professionals to be excellent caregivers. The Article then explores the evidence that an attorney’s clients have the same needs and suffer similar harm when attorneys fail to meet these needs. Next, the Article turns to the question of how law schools can better prepare students for the caregiving aspect of client representation. Finally, the Article concludes with thoughts on why an embrace of caregiving can separate good lawyers from great lawyers.