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


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.


perseverance, resilience, public interest lawyer, clinic, accompagnateur



Margaret Reuter (Director of Field Placement Programs and Associate Clinical Professor at University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Stephen A. Rosenbaum (Frank C. Newman Lecturer, School of Law and Visiting Researcher Scholar, Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, University of California, Berkeley; and Regional Director of Advocacy, California Rural Legal Assistance, Inc.)
Danielle Pelfrey Duryea (Director of the Health Justice Law and Policy Clinic and Assistant Dean for Interprofessional Education & Health Law Initiatives, University at Buffalo School of Law, State University of New York; Associate Director, University at Buffalo Center for Successful Aging; and Research Assistant Professor, Jacobs School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences)



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