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Abstract

This Article considers how the reputation of lawyers and signaling between lawyers and clients affects the impact of legal ethics rules. Academics who have written about the relationships between lawyers and clients have not adequately considered the influence of reputational signaling on who clients hire and on lawyers' implementation of discretion. These empirical issues are key to a proper analysis of many professional rules and to the approach bar associations should take to matching lawyers and clients. The Article will focus primarily on lawyers' reputations as a proxy for what clients want, or need, to know about their representatives. Part I offers a taxonomy of the ways in which lawyers' reputations are important. Part II discusses what we do, and do not, know about lawyers' reputations in today's real world. Part III identifies a series of questions about reputation that academics and the bar should consider more seriously than they have in the past.

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