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Radical Lawyer Advocates New Social Role in Court

By Betty Zimmerberg

A lawyer defending the "Chicago Eight" last night advised law students not to enter large corporate firms but instead to form "law communes" and "serve the people."

Speaking at the Harvard Law School Forum on "The Radical Lawyer in America," William M. Kunstler, a noted civil rights attorney, sought a redefinition of the lawyer's role.

"A lawyer should not be a high priest of society but more of a worker-lawyer who works within the court to advance the aspirations of the people of whom he is a part," Kunstler said.

The Forum, held in Lowell Lecture Hall, also featured Leonard B. Boudin, who recently defended Dr. Benjamin Spock in the Boston conspiracy trial.

Boudin's view of a radical lawyer differed somewhat from Kunstler's. Boudin said. "Students who are general practitioners and members of large corporations will also be able to serve civil libertarian interests."

Condemn the Press

Kunstler, an attorney for Black Panther Bobby Seale, also condemned the Chicago press for their attacks on the Chicago conspiracy trial's defense lawyers. Moderator Alan M. Dershowitz, professor of Law, also condemned the press, saying that "the first step in the process of tyranny is the harassment of lawyers."

In the "Chicago Eight" trial, eight radicals are the first to be indicted under the anti-riot provision of the 1968 civil rights act.

Kunstler speculated that the case may eventually reach the Supreme Court and that the riot bill may ultimately be proved unconstitutional.

Kunstler denounced the contempt of court charges which were leveled against his fellow lawyers by Federal District Court Judge Julius Hoffman. "The lawyers are in great jeopardy in the Chicago case," he said.

Politics and the Press

Finally, both Kunstler and Boudin spoke of the relationship of the press and political cases. "It may be just as important to influence the public on a political issue as it is to influence the verdict of the judge," Boudin said.

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