Should lawyers love their clients and try to be their friends? Scholars have defended the “lawyer-as-friend” analogy, but usually they have relied on a more contractual understanding of friendship compatible with traditional concepts of adversary advocacy. I will discuss lawyer-client relationships by examining two generations of scholarly argument for the lawyer-as-friend view, and a description of the approach in operation in an actual legal case. These discussions show in detail what sorts of questions a lawyer-as-friend takes up, how he or she divides or shares representational tasks with clients differently from lawyers who use more traditional approaches to legal representation, and how the personal psychological experience of representing a client as a friend compares with the experience of representing a client as a fiduciary and agent. In the course of the discussion, I will compare the idea of legal friendship with views of friendship taken from western literature and philosophy generally, identify the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the legal friendship model, and conclude by defending a more traditional way of thinking about the relationship between lawyers and clients—that it is descriptively more accurate and normatively more attractive to think of a lawyer as a client fiduciary and agent (albeit of a friendly sort) than as a friend.
Robert J. Condlin,
"What's Love Got To Do With It?" "It's Not Like They're Your Friends for Christ's Sake": The Complicated Relationship Between Lawyer and Client,
82 Neb. L. Rev.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol82/iss2/2