Article Title

Attorney as Accompagnateur: Resilient Lawyering When Victory is Uncertain or Nearly Impossible

Publication Title

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy


This article comprises a set of essays that explore the public interest lawyer’s capacity to persevere in the face of legal loss that is so regular that pessimism, indifference, and exhaustion set in. The article views the lawyer in the role of accompagnateur. A foundational professional value is to accompany clients—stand beside, stand up for, and give respect and voice to the client’s story—irrespective of victory. In so doing, the lawyer’s deepest source of professional identity and purpose is in accompanying the client well. The thesis is that accompaniment, done well, makes one a better lawyer for her client and simultaneously nourishes the lawyer enough to withstand inevitable losses. This collection of writings from students, a veteran public interest lawyer, and practice faculty traces the arc of a career.