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Hastings Law Journal

Article Title

Styles of Lawyering

Authors

Naomi R. Cahn

Abstract

In her Article, Professor Cahn explores issues concerning the identification of male and female styles of lawyering. She first examines the elements of what some might label a female style of lawyering-that is, one based on an ethic of care. She then critiques this model and its underlying assumptions. Rather than identifying as female one particular style of lawyering, she believes that many different styles of lawyering exist, and that using feminist legal theory helps uncover these styles, figure out when they are useful in litigation, and how they can help transform litigation.

Professor Cahn also examines the role in the attorney-client relationship of one attribute that is ascribed to female style: connection. In discussing connection, she explores its roles and definitions in feminist theory, and how these differ from other representations of connection in legal ethics. While connection certainly provides the opportunity for exploitation, she argues that its potential outweighs its problems. Her hope is that selfconscious and critical examination of the role of gender may lead to insights about the role of stereotypes based on race and class, as well as gender, in assumptions about lawyers and clients.

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