Anthony V. Alfieri
90 Texas L. Rev. 635
This Review offers an ethical defense of community lawyering against the backdrop of W. Bradley Wendel’s important new book, Lawyers and Fidelity to Law. Alfieri feels that by defending a theory of legal ethics that places fidelity to law instead of client or community interests at the core of lawyers’ obligations, Wendel seeks to rehabilitate the idea of legitimacy as a normative ideal for lawyers and to channel lawyers into a formal, procedural system of advocacy and counseling largely independent of substantive-justice objectives. He argues that Wendel’s transformation of the evaluative framework of legal ethics from the concerns of ordinary morality and substantive justice to the considerations of political legitimacy and process-oriented legality exposes community lawyers to new terms of normative criticism and erodes the justification of their crucial work in American law and society.