Instrumentalism in law and client lawyer relationship

Instrumentalism in law and client lawyer relationship

As a member of legal profession, practising in Punjab and Haryana High Court in Chandigarh and Supreme Court of India, I feel that the rules administrating the legal profession state that the crux of lawyering is a means (lawyer)–end (client) relationship. A lawyer is a member of the legal profession, who represents the client. It necessitates the lawyer to abide by the decision of client regarding the aims of representation. Confirming this instrumental connection, the rules warn that the representation of a client by the lawyer does not constitute advocacy of the political, economic, social or moral views or activities of the client. This implies that serving as a tool to advance the supposedly immoral result do not make the lawyer dishonourable. Legal practice is aided with a sense of instrumentalism: lawyers have adopted an instrumental outlook towards law itself, and modify legal principles and processes to meet their clients’ goals. Legal rules are being used as a part of their craft to get things done.

Furthermore, many lawyers operate law instrumentally for their own fulfillment and mould legal rules and processes to enhance their personal ends. In above mentioned ways,the practicing lawyers act instrumentally. The shift away from non-instrumental opinion of law specifically the opinions expressed by the best of lawyers which includes head of the bar, judges, and legal intellectuals does effect the legal practice. Ideals affect the perspective of people to conduct themselves, so legal ideals do facilitate a shift in behaviour of lawyer as well. Moreover, legal education has changed the perspective of lawyers to such an extent that the established view of instrumentalism in legal academia has some effect on the practice of law. It is not Incidental that from long past legal behaviour is in a state of constant wither. Every alternate week unviels a new report accusing lawyer of immoral or criminal behavior related to their practice. For instance, a prominent defense lawyer was once found guilty of aiding a terrorist. Recently, Nirbhaya rape case defence lawyer made shocking remarks against the victim and women at large.

Under these circumstances , it is crucial to know that whether these latest upheavel of complaints points towards some kind of a change, and to question whether the changes that have initiated these complaints are harmful for the public. A leading legal researcher has obseved that people dont believe in idealism, which was once a benchmark in legal profession. There are several revered icons in legal sector who had overworked and were handsomly paid, alongwith upholding the reputation of their profession. Corporate lawyers and criminal defense lawyers all falls in this category. Some scholars have suggested that the present crisis may be accelerated because of availability of information and publicity concerning the faults and inadequate conduct of lawyers. It indicates that the best of lawyers is no longer the voice of profession. The Heads of the bar urged for professional conduct on the part of the mass of lawyers. However, the heads of the bar have acknowleged the downfall in the profession that limited their influence. Most practicing lawyers avoid to be a part of bar associations. The inhancement of the profession resulted in hierarchal demarcation among lawyers. New associations were formed to represent and defend narrow stratas of society. In terms of reputation, practicing arenas and hiring fee between types of lawyers that they create a resistance to be a prototype. The wages of corporate lawyers increases in the past few years, whereas the wages of government lawyers met a constant downfall. Corporate lawyers, government attorneys, tax consultants, cause lawyers, individual practitioners and the rest shares a little commonality except their similar fixitations regarding teaching in law. No single set of lawyers speak for honest practicing in legal profession.

The above mentioned split will never be cured, as there is so much of flux and demarcations among legal academics, judges, and the practice of law. It shudders the vision of solidarity among the ideal lawyers and reveals the pseudo upholding of non-instrumental perspective to law and lawyering. The Ideals who had protected the view are no longer exist. The critics of instrumentalism in the practice of law remain, judges and legal intellectuals. But judges and legal academics are as instrumental as those whom they consider unethical. Furthermore, the constant disharmony between legal academics and practice of law Is result of unavailability of sound preachings in law academia. The legal academies are the protectors of professional conscience. As law professors align themselves more within the academia than with the legal profession, their role seems more of a lecturer , which should be padding the upcoming layers with professional idealism as well. With this atmosphere, it is difficult to maintain and revisit the non instrumental approach towards legal profession,that once existed.