Wanted: An Ethos of Personal Responsibility - Why Codes of Ethics and Schools of Law Don't Make for Ethical Lawyers

19 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2010 Last revised: 25 Jul 2010

Date Written: 1989

Abstract

This article: (1) argues that neither codes of professional ethics nor traditional modes of law school teaching do much to produce ethical lawyers; (2) asserts that ethics codes and the presuppositions of the adversary system work to alienate lawyers from a sense of individual responsibility; (3) critiques the conceptual connection between the adversary system and codes of lawyer ethics; (4) critiques the conventional approach to teaching legal ethics in law schools; (5) invokes the approach to ethical analysis championed by the German sociologist and social theorist Max Weber; and (6) explains how that approach, coupled with traditional tools of legal reasoning, can lead to an ethos of personal responsibility.

Keywords: Legal Instruction, Law School, Ethics, Professional Responsibility, Legal Analysis, Social Theory, Max Weber, moral responsibility, morality

Suggested Citation

Kleinberger, Daniel S., Wanted: An Ethos of Personal Responsibility - Why Codes of Ethics and Schools of Law Don't Make for Ethical Lawyers (1989). Connecticut Law Review, Vol. 21, p. 365, 1989, William Mitchell Legal Studies Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1632460

Daniel S. Kleinberger (Contact Author)

William Mitchell College of Law ( email )

875 Summit Ave
St. Paul, MN 55105-3076
United States

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