Speaker: Carrie Menkel-Meadow (University of California Irvine School of Law)
Topic: The Good (and Bad) that Lawyers Do
This lecture will explore the contributions that lawyers, legal theory and practice have made to human endeavor—the drafting of Constitutions, the creation of new forms of organizations (non-profits, NGOs, trade unions, as well as corporations and new forms of land ownership), creativity in legal concepts allowing people to do things together (collaboration and wealth development, as well as distribution), creation of human rights, conflict resolution, legal representation of unpopular people and ideas, leading revolutions and new forms of governance, and other productive activity, with illustrations from some notably important individual role models—Nelson Mandela and Mahatmas Ghandi among others. We also will explore the bad that lawyers have done in the world, covering up corruption, facilitating financial scandals, participating in crime and dictatorhips or failing to prevent them. The question for us: what is an “ethics” of lawyering that promotes the “good” that lawyers can do and inhibits, disincentivizes or punishes the bad?
Franklin Lew Forum