by Rennard Strickland and Frank T. Read
Ohio University Press, 2008
Paper: 978-0-8040-1111-2 | Cloth: 978-0-8040-1110-5 | eISBN: 978-0-8040-4035-8
Library of Congress Classification KF298.S775 2008
Dewey Decimal Classification 340.02373

Lawyers and the legal profession have become
scapegoats for many of the problems of our
age. In The Lawyer Myth: A Defense of the
American Legal Profession
, Rennard Strickland and
Frank T. Read look behind current antilawyer media
images to explore the historical role of lawyers as a
balancing force in times of social, economic, and political change. One source of this disjunction of perception and reality, they find, is that American society has lost touch with the need for the lawyer’s skill and has come to blame unrelated social problems on the legal profession. This highly personal and impassioned book is their defense of lawyers and the rule of law in the United States.
The Lawyer Myth confronts the hypocrisy of critics from both the right and
the left who attempt to exploit popular misperceptions about lawyers and
judges to further their own social and political agendas. By revealing the facts and reasoning behind the decisions in such cases as the infamous McDonald’s coffee spill, the authors provide a clear explanation of the operation of the law while addressing misconceptions about the number of lawsuits, runaway jury verdicts, and legal “technicalities” that turn criminals out on the street.
Acknowledging that no system is perfect, the authors propose a slate of reforms for the bar, the judiciary, and law schools that will enable today’s lawyers—and tomorrow’s—to live up to the noble potential of their profession. Whether one thinks of lawyers as keepers of the springs of democracy, foot soldiers of the Constitution, architects and carpenters of commerce, umpires and field levelers, healers of the body politic, or simply bridge builders, The Lawyer Myth reminds us that lawyers are essential to American democracy.