Legal Ethics 16 (1):97-118 (2013)

Abstract
The need for increased civility has been a recurring theme in conversations about lawyer professionalism in the United States and Canada over the last several decades. In addition to having many advocates, however, the civility movement has also been subject to criticism. In large part, the critiques made to date have focused on the problems or risks created when civility rules or guidelines are enforced against lawyers. This article takes a different focus to provide a complementary, yet distinct critique. The object of analysis is the discourse of the civility movement. More specifically, the assumptions and concepts of lawyer professionalism embedded in our conversations about civility are explored. Upon review, the discourse of the civility movement reveals a dominant narrative framed in terms of competing masculinities: the aggressive, testosterone fuelled Rambo-lawyer is cast as the anti-hero to be vanquished against renewed calls for the return of the gentlemanly Atticus Finch. I argue that this 'Rambo-Finch narrative' is hostile to inclusive understandings of lawyer professionalism in three inter-related ways: (1) it renders women and other 'outsider' lawyers largely invisible; (2) it romanticizes past discriminatory concepts of lawyer professionalism; and (3) it reflects anxieties about the destabilization of traditional, exclusionary claims or modes of authority in the legal profession. The exclusionary understandings of lawyer professionalism contained in the Rambo-Finch narrative should be of concern to those interested with improving gender equity and diversity in the legal profession as there is good reason to believe that this discourse translates into 'real world' consequences in how 'outsider' lawyers are viewed and treated within the legal profession
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5235/1460728X.1.1.97
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,043
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Civility as Political Constraint.William A. Edmundson - 2002 - Res Publica 8 (3):217-229.
The Professionalism Movement: Can We Pause?Delese Wear & Mark G. Kuczewski - 2004 - American Journal of Bioethics 4 (2):1 – 10.
Defending Atticus Finch.Abbe Smith - 2011 - Legal Ethics 14 (1):143-167.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2013-07-08

Total views
65 ( #174,294 of 2,498,570 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #426,098 of 2,498,570 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes