The Three Roles of Lawyers in Society

Lawyers are an integral part of the legal system, acting as representatives of clients, officials of the legal system, and public citizens with a special responsibility for the quality of justice. In recent decades, the role of lawyers has shifted from outside law firms to internal legal departments, with the general counsel becoming the chief counsel of boards of directors and executive directors. This shift has placed a special obligation on general counsels and in-house lawyers to ensure that their clients receive the best possible quality services. Bar associations have a responsibility to cooperate in the organization and provision of services, facilities, and other resources to ensure that lawyers can fulfill their professional obligations.

This includes guaranteeing that lawyers can perform their duties without intimidation, obstacles, harassment, or undue interference. Additionally, lawyers should be able to travel and consult freely with their clients both within their own country and abroad without fear of sanctions for any action taken in accordance with recognized professional obligations, standards, and ethics. When lawyers are threatened due to their performance of duties, authorities must provide adequate protection. The primary role of a lawyer is to help a person find the best way to resolve a dispute or prevent it from occurring.

However, lawyers also have an obligation to dedicate time to the profession and broader needs of society. This includes providing services to those who are poor or disadvantaged and ensuring that law schools teach students to become expert technicians, wise counselors, and astute leaders. Governments and professional associations should also promote programs that inform the public about their rights and obligations under the law and about the important role of lawyers in protecting fundamental freedoms.