Rich, Smart, Honest?: Does Success Lead to Unethical Lawyering?
Mercer University - Walter F. George School of Law
Michael I. Krauss
George Mason University School of Law
September 6, 2012
University of St. Thomas Law Journal, Vol. 10, 2012
George Mason Law & Economics Research Paper No. 12-59
The causes of unethical behavior in society, and among lawyers specifically, are the subject of significant interest in legal and psychological academia. Among the hypothesized causes of unethical behavior is class distinction. This research offers a preliminary inquiry into whether the structure of law school education leads to greater unethical behavior because it imposes an additional level of class distinction among lawyers through class rankings and coveted spots on law review and other “elite” organizations. Empirical results suggest possible correlation between ethical standards and various indications of law school “class” status. While the results are not statistically significant to a high confidence level, the small number of observations may have led to the lack of statistical significance, indicating a need for further research to verify the results.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 44
Keywords: Bill Gates, conduct, Ellen J. Kennedy, entitlement, ethical choice, ethics, honesty, integrity, Leigh Lawton, morals, NAS, National Academy of Sciences, noblesse oblige, Oliver Wendell Holmes, religion, responsibility, Rules of Professional Conduct, social, standards, Warren Buffett, wealth
Date posted: September 7, 2012 ; Last revised: May 21, 2016