Document Type


Publication Date



WVU College of Law


The legal profession offers little opportunity for the practitioner to analyze the fundamental constructs underlying the legal system or the dynamics of the lawyering process. Jurisprudence and legal education traditionally have emphasized the external aspects of law, implying that man is a rational decisionmaker who freely controls his life and shapes societal institutions., This approach is unrealistic because it neglects the psychological dimension of man and the complexity of man's behavior. Jurisprudential scholars and legal educators should recognize that a growing body of sophisticated literature in linguistics and anthropology as well as social psychology and psychiatry is also relevant to the study of the lawyer in society. This essay adopts a socio-psychological frame of reference and explores the images and guises of the lawyer as a professional in an attempt to add a new perspective to contemporary philosophy of lawyering.

Original Publication Title

Virginia Law Review

Source Citation

James R. Eklins, The Legal Persona: An Essay on the Professional Mask, 64 Va. L. Rev. 735 (1978).


The copyright of this article is owned by the Virginia Law Review Association and it is included in the Research Repository @ WVU with their permission.



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