Assuming you are a law student or an average person like me, you may have wondered about the responsibilities of a lawyer. Following is a really nice FCPA investigation checklist against lawyer duties. You may find it helpful.
Represent Client Interests
Foremost, the hired lawyer is representative of their clients. That is how the legal system works. A citizen of the law is required to understand the specific responsibilities the legal personnel carry. They are the agents of the legal system, and it is on their shoulders to uphold the standard and professionalism it requires.
Lawyers must understand the relationship and the boundaries it may carry, be it responsibilities, establishing trust, or limitations. The lawyers are expected to practice an extreme amount of ethical behavior and practical efforts as they represent a system based on fairness and unbiased practices. Lawyers must understand the legal system’s functions as well.
Agency to Clients
Once a lawyer is hired, they can perform duties on behalf of their clients. They can act as an advisor in matters of legal proceedings. The lawyers are legally required to lay out all the options available to their clients and explain the implications and the expectant result individually.
Lawyers are also advocates for their clients. Their responsibility is to defend the honor and actions of the clients with zealous and legal backing. A lawyer consistently advocates for his client under the rules provided by the legal system. He is also the intermediary between the judge and the client as well as other legal professionals.
A lawyer must perform his duty with competency and diligence as he is the agent of his client. The lawyer’s action represents his client’s and vice versa. The lawyer must also stay in constant communication with his client to update them about the developments in legal proceedings.
Additionally, the lawyer must also safeguard the conversations between him and his clients. No particulars of any kind must exist on behalf of both parties involved. Any practice to extract information can lead to disbarment or change of council. Lawyers must practice confidentiality as required under federal, provincial, or state laws.
A lawyer must practice the requirements of the law in his professional and personal life. Becoming a lawyer does not make them exempt from malicious activities. A lawyer must also not manipulate law or any provisions after that for his personal or professional gain. He must practice law fairly with bonafide intentions for the system he represents.
A lawyer must also practice legitimately to defend his clients rather than influence the proceedings using his professional caliber. He must not harass or intimidate victims, jurors, witnesses, or other parties involved. It is a lawyer’s job to rise against injustice or malice practice while practicing utmost professionalism.
Improve Legal System
A lawyer must also seek to improve the law and legal system with the opportunities provided to him. Many lawyers have gone to the Supreme Court and won civil-class cases against racism and gender inequality. A lawyer must promote legal knowledge and remove any misconceptions regarding them. Lawyers are expected to work beyond their clients for the good of society.
A lawyer must work hard and diligently to improve the legal education provided to young generations. These students aim to become future lawyers to lead voices for the oppressed and unfairly represented victims.
Practice as a Public Servant
A lawyer is expected to practice as a public service, not a private interest. The primary function of a lawyer is to protect the client’s interest beyond a reasonable doubt. Public lawyers represent aggrieved or guilty parties who cannot afford any legal representation. A lawyer must aid his profession by pursuing the objectives presented to him without carrying a personal opinion.
Lawyers of any class or success must set time aside to perform services for the disadvantaged and less fortunate. They must promote free legal fees for those who cannot afford it. They must participate in fair representation practices. It is up to the lawyers to waive fees at appropriate times.
Conflicts happen in legal practices. They can happen in lawyers’ chambers, courtrooms, between judges and lawyers, and between lawyers and their clients. However, all these conflicts are based on conflicts with the legal system or interpretation of case laws and provisions.
Every lawyer is expected to minimize these tensions. This is mainly achieved by practicing professionalism and his legal knowledge to the best of his abilities. He is not expected to “win” but be victorious for the sake of his clients. Minimum standards are available before the lawyer may be held in contempt.
Code of Conduct
The lawyers collectively must practice law as a social responsibility in the public interest rather than promoting self-interest or monetary gain. Every lawyer must practice a disciplinary code of conduct and carry himself professionally in a legal setting.
A lawyer can also assist other lawyers in hearing and understand legal complications. They can observe each other, learn from each other but never neglect each other in times of professional assistance. Overcoming these obstacles would strengthen the image of the legal system and the public interest it aims to serve.
Lawyers must understand the loss of ethical conduct and ill-practicing professionalism is the highest loss they can bear. It is the ultimate stain on the legal system, which sometimes takes entire generations to remove. Lawyers are looked up to with respect and admiration for their education and profession; it is the lawyer’s responsibility to continue practice with nobility.
Rules and Comments are available for lawyers when their moral judgment is compromised. The rules can be interpreted and implemented freely at their discretion. The framework of these rules ensures the professional stay noble. Hence, it continues to be admired by non-legal professionals and citizens.
Practicing law and being an individual in a highly respectable profession comes with a vast circle of duties requiring constant supervision. However, the lawyers who uphold themselves to strict ethos are highly respected in their field of expertise.