Integration as Integrity: Postmodernism, Psychology, and Religion on the Role of Moral Counseling in the Attorney-Client Relationship

By L.O. Natt Gantt, II

This article supplements the general responses offered by other commentators to explore more deeply why attorneys do or do not counsel their clients on moral considerations. To address this issue, this article first examines the changes in lawyers’ roles in the last 200 years. The article then considers how postmodernism has impacted attorneys’ views on the propriety of the moral counseling of clients. The article next discusses both recent psychological studies and established religious principles that underscore why attorneys should raise moral considerations with their clients. The article then discusses proposed responses to the apparent lack of moral counseling in the attorney-client context and considers how ethics instruction of lawyers and law students could encourage attorneys to engage in such moral counseling. The article concludes that, in addition to the fact that such counseling may advance client interests, moral counseling affirms lawyers’ integrity by enabling them to integrate their personal convictions into their professional roles.

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