Lawyers and Ethics in Practice: The Impact of Clinical and Ethics Curricula on Lawyers' Ethical Decision-Making
Alternative Law Journal, No. 1, p. 12, 2007
14 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2009 Last revised: 12 Dec 2012
Date Written: February 25, 2009
The authors have conducted a longitudinal study exploring the relationships between values and ethical behaviour for early-career legal practitioners. The study comprised a representative Australian cohort of final-year law students and tracked them through their first two years of employment or further study. It examined changes to ethical decision-making by presenting participants with hypothetical scenarios that provided ethical dilemmas. A questionnaire utilising hypothetical situations was presented in 11 scenarios. This chapter examines responses to the scenarios across the three years of the study, particularly exploring changes over time. Of particular interest were the effects of gender and prior ethics education on changing responses. Findings suggested significant differences between males and females in their ethical responses. They also suggested that involvement in clinical practice, in particular during the law degree, may have a positive impact on future willingness to assist access to justice (insofar as such lawyers were more inclined to participate in later pro bono activity).
Keywords: legal profession, lawyers, ethics, undergaduate studies, hypothetical scenarios, decision making
JEL Classification: K0, K00, K10, K22, K23, K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation