The University of St. Thomas

October 10th, 2010

The Profession and Professionalism are Dead?: A Review of Thomas Morgan’s “The Vanishing American Lawyer”

Published on: Sunday, October 10th, 2010

by Neil Hamilton

Professor Tom Morgan’s new book, The Vanishing American Lawyer (2010) makes the argument that the legal profession and professionalism are dead. In light of the future market realities facing lawyers, Professor Morgan views the death of both law as a profession and professionalism as a good thing.

Professor Neil Hamilton recently wrote a book review of  “The Vanishing American Lawyer”. Professor Hamilton disagrees that lawyers can better respond to new market realities and thus serve the public good by saying that the profession and professionalism are dead. It makes a Churchillian defense of the profession and professionalism. The concepts are flawed in actual practice, and we could do a great deal better in realizing them, but the review argues that the alternative that Morgan proposes is more flawed in terms of ultimate benefit for the public good. Business schools following Morgan’s model have largely failed to acculturate our most gifted and educated students into moralities necessary for sustainable responsible capitalism.

Professor Hamilton’s full book review can be accessed through SSRN.

Neil Hamilton is a professor of law and director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.