Lawyers and Ethics in Practice: The Impact of Clinical and Ethics Curricula on Lawyers' Ethical Decision-Making

14 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2009 Last revised: 12 Dec 2012

See all articles by Adrian Evans

Adrian Evans

Monash University - Faculty of Law

Josephine Palermo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: February 25, 2009

Abstract

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

Evans, Adrian and Palermo, Josephine, Lawyers and Ethics in Practice: The Impact of Clinical and Ethics Curricula on Lawyers' Ethical Decision-Making (February 25, 2009). Monash University Faculty of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2007/13; Alternative Law Journal, No. 1, p. 12, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1349427

Adrian Evans (Contact Author)

Monash University - Faculty of Law ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

Josephine Palermo

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

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