In this Article, Professor Hazard addresses the concerns many people have regarding the application of general, concrete rules governing professional conduct of lawyers to a profession that is unique and complex as to each individual attorney. He posits that an appropriate remedy for the "crises at the bar" is to seek a clearer understanding of the relationship between professional ethical standards and professional practice. The legal profession is unique in that differences in practice situations strongly determine the operative significance to an individual lawyer of the legal constraints and empowerments governing the lawyer's office. As such, a general set of rules of professional conduct can have only a limited effect where each lawyer is involved in his or her own unique and complex set of circumstances. The author concludes by suggesting that each attorney exercise ethical judgment and discretion by continuously recognizing the interaction between present ethical opportunities and future ethical potential.
Geoffrey C. Hazard Jr.,
Ethical Opportunity in the Practice of Law,
San Diego L. Rev.
Available at: https://digital.sandiego.edu/sdlr/vol27/iss1/6