97 Indiana Law Journal 755 (2022)
Seeking to engage with scholars and activists who call for lawyer solidarity with social movements, this Essay considers professional ethics constraints on what a lawyer can justifiably do on behalf of clients in the name of solidarity with a movement. I consider whether the concept of solidarity, especially solidarity in the face of legal repression, justifies a movement lawyer in using tactics that would otherwise be grounds for legal prosecution, professional discipline, or moral condemnation. Drawing on the long history of legal repression of progressive activism, including repression of progressive lawyers, this Essay proposes a way to think about lawyers aligning themselves with client activism while acknowledging the attraction to the notion that the lawyer’s role as counselor or adviser does not permit lawyer involvement in conduct that is immoral, unfair, or of doubtful legality. I test my argument about when lawyers may assist clients in conduct at the bounds of legality by considering bar discipline of lawyers involved with former President Trump’s litigation seeking to invalidate the results of the 2020 election with the January 6 rally preceding the assault on the Capitol building. I then return to the challenges facing lawyers working with Left social movements today.
"Movement Lawyers: The Tension Between Solidarity and Independence,"
Indiana Law Journal: Vol. 97:
2, Article 8.
Available at: https://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/ilj/vol97/iss2/8