Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2014


Lawyers have long been recognized as being necessary in the effective functioning of an ordered society in roles as both officers of the court and, more broadly, as officers of the system of justice. In 2014, the ABA Task Force on the Future of Legal Education report noted that "[s]ociety has a deep interest in the competence of lawyers, in their availability to serve society and clients, in the broad public role they can play, and in their professional values." Values such as those noted in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (advisor, counselor, and advocate) are instrumental in the lawyer's contribution to the "effective functioning of an ordered society." These expected values and their interplay in society creates what has been posited as a social contract between lawyers and the general public. This symbolic idea of a social contract connotes a "sense of connectedness and unity among those in a society in the same way that contracts between individuals reflect binding relationships." The explosive use of social media has expanded the context of the meaning of relationships, including relationships specifically between clients and attorneys and more broadly between the public and the justice system.