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This Article argues that the cultural images of lawyering provide opportunities for teaching professionalism that go well beyond the teaching of ethical rules using hypothetical facts. We contend that use of different media allows teachers to chart the broad middle ground between disciplinary minima and aspirational maxima - the map of realistic professional practice. This ground includes both rule- and conduct-based ideas of professionalism: careful role definition; responsible practice management; appropriate balance between public and private commitments; and concerns over manners, dress, and work ethic. The middle ground also includes less traditional content, discussion of which brings students to appreciate the subjective disciplines of lawyering. The subjective dimension includes the feel of lawyering for the practitioner: the psychic demands of an active, fully engaged practice. It also includes the subjective experience of the clients who use lawyers, as well as the complex interweaving of subjective and external factors in the situations in which lawyers are called to act.


Originally published by the South Carolina Law Review in 2003.