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
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
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