Lawyers: Colleagues in Conscience

Who will speak for the 60% of U.S.

criminal defendants who cannot afford lawyers? Will it be the courthouse hack who goes through the motions of defending indigents for piddling government fees because he has no other clients? Or will it be the able advocate who makes the U.S. adversary system of justice what it is supposed to be—a truth-seeking contest between equal rivals?

Such questions used to be a staple of law-school graduation oratory. And as such, they were all too often brushed aside. But U.S. lawyers can no longer ignore them, for...

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