UIC Law Review


So I ask the rhetorical question: “Who’s Gonna Take the Weight?” to mobilize law professors—the people responsible for shaping students’ professional identities—to use storytelling techniques to overcome the corrosive effects of stereotypes and implicit biases on controversial clients’ access to legal services and on the lawyer’s professional identity as a social engineer. This article precedes in two parts. Part II explores traditional client selection models and endorses a Houstonian approach to client selection, one that acknowledges the challenges of representing controversial clients within a framework that also acknowledges the social justice consequences of denying representation to controversial clients. Part III examines the power of legal storytelling and its ability to ease some of the psychological discomfort that often accompanies a decision to represent controversial clients and proposes several techniques for helping first-year students confront implicit biases and develop empathetic understanding.