Programs & Centers

About the LEAD Initiative

Why LEAD: The Current Context


A range of societal pressures and cultural forces have converged to create many challenges for the legal profession:

  • Distrust of Lawyers: Tales of scandal, greed and lawyer malfeasance are everywhere, and, society generally views lawyers with contempt, distrust and suspicion.
  • Declining Civility in Favor of a "Win at All Costs" Attitude: Accounts of modern litigation describe cases fought on a terrain of moral compromise, with scorched-earth tactics between overly zealous advocates.
  • Disconnection from Important Personal Values: A growing number of lawyers are dissatisfied their inability to balance commitments to work, family, community and the historic public service elements of professional practice.
  • Lack of Access to Justice for Many Clients: Those who are poor and marginalized often are unable to gain access to justice or play a role in creating better systems that support their entire community.
  • Diversification: With the entrance of more and more women and minorities, the profession's composition has changed, but the legal profession has been slow to react to these changes.
  • Globalization: The globalization of law practice has created new opportunities for lawyers, but also challenges as they confront new professional expectations and ways of doing business in different cultural environments.

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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved