In this project, I intend to examine the dynamic of the relationship between the lawyer and the client, paying particular attention to how this dynamic does function and how it ought function. My primary goal is to show that role morality ought not be applied to the legal profession because of its inherent inconsistencies and a lack of accountability for immoral actions. Chapter II will focus on the explanation of and one author’s arguments for an application of role morality into the realm of legal ethics. It will begin with brief explanations of both the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the concept of role morality and its relations to other popular ethical theories. This chapter will also contain an analysis and criticisms of Michael Bayles’s “A Problem of Clean Hands.” Chapter III focuses on another argument advocating the application of role morality into legal ethics. In this chapter, I will analyze and critique Charles Fried’s “The Lawyer as Friend.” While Fried holds a view that is similar to that of Bayles, they are fundamentally different, and this difference will be investigated in this chapter. Chapter IV introduces Amy Gutmann’s “Can Virtue Be Taught To Lawyers?” Gutmann sees a problem with the contemporary view of lawyers, and argues that another skill, or “virtue”, ought be primarily valued in order to create a lawyer that will be both a good lawyer and a good person. Here, I will also draw comparisons between the views that Gutmann holds of the incomplete lawyer with the arguments that Fried makes in order to support his view of how the lawyer ought act. Chapter V introduces the other side of the argument. In this chapter, I will discuss the arguments of both David Luban and Alan Goldman. These authors, like Gutmann, see a problem with applying role morality to the legal profession. Each constructs similar arguments against role morality, mainly focusing on accountability for action and the constraints on action that role morality favors. In the end, Goldman introduces an alternative moral principle that he believes ought be applied to attorneys, and I will discuss this principle and its alternatives toward the end of this chapter. In Chapter VI, I will conclude that role morality provides neither an adequate amount of moral accountability for immoral actions, nor a consistent basis for determining what is morally right from wrong.


Kreuzman, Henry



Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2007 Dan Fleszar