St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

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St. Mary's University School of Law


Alyssa Boggs

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Does being a lawyer mean more than the mere pursuit of a client’s cause and resulting (hoped for) financial success and professional standing, while avoiding discipline? This article invites a consideration of what it means to be a true “professional” in the practice of law. First, the article explores the definition of the term “professional,” and proceeds to examine the obligations undertaken by lawyers (a) in their oath of admission, and (b) in codes of professional conduct. However, the author posits, should not the true professional aspire to more than the mere compliance with these minimum standards? In answer, the author describes aspirational creeds of professionalism which have been adopted in an effort to stem the tide of increasing unprofessionalism in the practice. Then, the article explores a couple of Biblical sources for more professional conduct. True professionals commit themselves to behavior far above that prescribed by the rules of professional conduct.