San Diego Law Review


Randy Lee

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Article seeks to embrace Professor Zacharias’s call for lawyers to consider more deeply what it means for a lawyer—and here particularly a government lawyer—to do justice. In so doing, it recognizes two parameters that Professor Zacharias wisely established for this task: first, that lawyers need direction that is concrete in how to behave as lawyers; and second, that lawyers can understand “justice,” “fairness,” and “truth” to be amorphous concepts and that lawyers may even attempt to define those terms with equally amorphous words. This Article also recognizes, however, that although justice, fairness, and truth can be reduced to abstraction, those words can also take on concrete meanings, and in their concrete form they can help lawyers to guide their attitudes and, thus, their behaviors.

The first part of this Article reviews Professor Zacharias’s understanding of justice and professional conscience, and then considers his views on the need for and the difficulty in using these concepts to guide one’s behavior. The second part of the Article suggests a concrete notion of justice that is consistent with our understanding of the government lawyer as the representative of the people. In this notion, justice is not simply societal revenge but, instead, seeks to help all who encounter it to “a future full of hope” within their community. Finally, the Article discusses how this notion of justice has manifested itself in the everyday behavior of lawyers.