The Lawyer's Creed expresses ideals to which members of the
legal profession should aspire in their actions with fellow
professionals, clients and adverse parties.
A LAWYER'S CREED
To my clients, I
offer faithfulness, competence, diligence, and good judgment. I
will strive to represent you as I would want to be represented and
to be worthy of your trust.
To the opposing parties and
their counsel, I offer fairness, integrity, and civility.
I will seek to fairly resolve differences and, if we fail to
reconcile disagreements, I will strive to make our dispute a
To the courts, and
other tribunals, and to those who assist them, I offer respect,
candor, and courtesy. I will strive to do honor to the search for
To my colleagues in the
practice of law, I offer concern for your reputation and
well being. I will extend to you the same courtesy, respect, candor
and dignity that I expect to be extended to me. I will strive to
make our association a professional friendship.
To the profession,
I will strive to keep our business a profession and our profession
a calling in the spirit of public service.
To the public and our
systems of justice, I offer service. I will strive to
improve the law and our legal system, to make the law and our legal
system available to all, and to seek the common good through
effective and ethical representation of my clients.
As a lawyer, I will aspire:
- To put fidelity to clients and, through clients, to the common
good, before my personal interests.
- To model for others, and particularly for my clients, the
respect due to those we call upon to resolve our disputes and the
regard due to all participants in our dispute resolution
- To pursue the goals of equality and fairness in my personal and
- To preserve and improve the law, the legal system, and other
dispute resolution processes as instruments for the common
- To make the law, the legal system, and other dispute resolution
processes available to all.
- To practice with a personal commitment to the rules governing
our profession and to encourage others to do the same.
- To preserve the dignity and the integrity of our profession by
my conduct. The dignity and the integrity of our profession is an
inheritance that must be maintained by each successive generation
- To achieve excellence in my work.
- To practice law not only as a business, but as a calling in the
spirit of public service.
As to clients,I will aspire:
- To expeditious and economical achievement of client
- To fully informed client decision-making. As a professional, I
- Counsel clients about various forms of dispute resolution;
- Counsel clients about the value of cooperation as a means
towards the productive resolution of disputes;
- Maintain the sympathetic detachment that permits objective and
independent advice to clients;
- Communicate promptly and clearly with clients; and
- Reach clear agreements with clients concerning the nature of
- To fair and equitable fee agreements. As a professional, I
- Consider and discuss with clients alternative fee arrangements
as may be appropriate in the circumstances;
- Reach fee agreements with clients as early in the relationship
as possible; and
- Determine the amount of fees by consideration of many factors
and not just time spent by the attorney.
- To comply with the obligations of confidentiality and the
avoidance of conflicting loyalties in a manner designed to achieve
the fidelity to clients.
- To achieve and maintain a high level of competence in my fields
As to opposing parties and
their counsel, I will aspire:
- To cooperate with opposing counsel in a manner consistent with
the competent representation of my client. As a professional, I
- Notify opposing counsel in a timely fashion of any canceled
- Grant reasonable requests for extensions or scheduling changes;
- Consult with opposing counsel in the scheduling of appearances,
meetings, and depositions.
- To treat opposing counsel in a manner consistent with his or
her professional obligations and consistent with the dignity of the
search for justice. As a professional, I will:
- Not serve motions or pleadings in such a manner or at such a
time as to preclude opportunity for a competent response;
- Be courteous and civil in all communications;
- Respond promptly to all requests by opposing counsel;
- Avoid rudeness and other acts of disrespect in all meetings
including depositions and negotiations;
- Prepare documents that accurately reflect the agreement of all
- Clearly identify all changes made in documents submitted by
opposing counsel for review.
As to the courts, other
tribunals, and to those who assist them, I will
- To represent my clients in a manner consistent with the proper
functioning of a fair, efficient, and humane system of justice. As
a professional, I will:
- Avoid non-essential litigation and non-essential pleading in
- Explore with clients and opposing parties the possibilities of
settlement of litigated matters;
- Seek non-coerced agreement between the parties on procedural
and discovery matters;
- Avoid all delays not dictated by a competent presentation of a
- Prevent misuses of court time by verifying the availability of
key participants for scheduled appearances before the court and by
being punctual; and
- Advise clients about the obligations of civility, courtesy,
fairness, cooperation, and other proper behavior expected of those
who use our systems of justice.
- To model for others the respect due to our courts. As a
professional, I will:
- Act with complete honesty;
- Know court rules and procedures;
- Give appropriate deference to court rulings;
- Avoid undue familiarity and any appearance or claim of any
undue influence with members of the judiciary;
- Avoid unfounded, unsubstantiated, or unjustified public
criticism of members of the judiciary;
- Show respect with my attire and demeanor;
- Assist the judiciary in determining the applicable law;
- Seek to understand the judiciary's obligations of informed and
As to my colleagues in the
practice of law, I will aspire:
- To recognize and to develop our interdependence;
- To assist my colleagues to become better people in the practice
of law and to accept their assistance offered to me.
- To defend my colleagues against unjust criticism; and
- To offer my colleagues appropriate assistance with your
personal and professional needs.
As to our
profession,I will aspire:
- To improve the practice of law. As a professional, I will:
- Support high-quality continuing legal education;
- Participate in organized activities of the bar and other legal
- Assist when requested in the education of future lawyers;
- Promote understanding of professionalism and ethical standards
among members of the profession.
- To protect the public from incompetent or other wrongful
lawyering. As a professional, I will:
- Support high standards in bar admissions; and
- Assist in the enforcement of the legal and ethical standards
imposed upon all lawyers.
- To support diversity in the profession, especially the practice
of law by members of historically underrepresented groups.
- To promote the understanding of and an appreciation for our
profession by the public. I will:
- Use appropriate opportunities, publicly and privately, to
comment upon the roles of lawyers in society and government, as
well as in our system of justice; and
- Conduct myself always with an awareness that my actions and
demeanor reflect upon our profession.
- To devote my time and skills to activities that promote the
As to the public and our
systems of justice, I will aspire:
- To counsel clients about the moral and social consequences of
- To consider the effect of my conduct on the image of our
systems of justice including the social effect of advertising
- To provide the pro bono representation that is necessary to
make our system of justice available to all.
- To support organizations that provide pro bono representation
to indigent clients.
- To improve our laws and legal system by, for example:
- Serving as a public official;
- Assisting in the education of the public concerning our laws
and legal system;
- Commenting publicly upon our laws; and
- Using other appropriate methods of effecting positive change in
our laws and legal system
PDF of A Lawyer's Creed