No one critiques legal ethics jurisprudence within the framework of liberalism better than David Luban. Professor Luban identifies himself as a communitarian liberal, and in Legal Ethics and Human Dignity he focuses on individual moral rectitude. Until now, at least, Professor Luban has not had much to say about “structural” concerns—namely, how lawyers’ locations within institutions that organize access to power shape or should shape those lawyers’ conduct. In this Essay, however, I aim to show that, in Professor Luban’s most recent work, another approach slips in as a supplement to his still dominant individualist framework. In this emerging supplement, structural concerns become increasingly important. What Professor Luban views as ethical conduct changes depending on context, especially on the relative social positions of the actors involved. This Essay proposes such a reading of Professor Luban’s new work and explores some of the implications and possible lines of inquiry offered by it.
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