Approaching Ethics Through Humor -- Using Lawyer Jokes to Teach Business Ethics

Lynch, James A. and Friedman, H. H. (2013). "Approaching Ethics Through Humor - Using Lawyer Jokes to Teach Business Ethics." SS (Social Science) International Journal of Economics and Management, 3(6), November.

21 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2013

See all articles by James Lynch

James Lynch

Brooklyn College, Department of Finance and Business Management

Hershey H. Friedman

City University of New York - Department of Business Management

Date Written: November 1, 2013

Abstract

It is becoming clear that something has to be done in the United States to teach the importance of ethics and values. This paper takes a unique approach and shows how lawyer jokes can be used to illustrate the importance of business ethics. It is highly unlikely that jokes can cause a stereotype. What is more probable is that jokes and stereotypes have common origins. Most of us will agree that the legal profession gets little respect in the United States; sadly, there is a good reason for this. The public does not trust lawyers and sees most of them as dishonest. One doubts that there is any other profession that has resulted in so many vicious jokes. Even presidents of the United States tell lawyer jokes; the following joke is attributed to Teddy Roosevelt: "A man who never graduated from school might steal from a freight car. But a man who attends college and graduates as a lawyer might steal the whole railroad."

Keywords: business ethics, lawyer jokes, humor, stereotypes, legal ethics, ethics education

JEL Classification: M12, M14, J50, M54

Suggested Citation

Lynch, James and Friedman, Hershey H., Approaching Ethics Through Humor -- Using Lawyer Jokes to Teach Business Ethics (November 1, 2013). Lynch, James A. and Friedman, H. H. (2013). "Approaching Ethics Through Humor - Using Lawyer Jokes to Teach Business Ethics." SS (Social Science) International Journal of Economics and Management, 3(6), November. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2353848

James Lynch

Brooklyn College, Department of Finance and Business Management ( email )

2900 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11210
United States

Hershey H. Friedman (Contact Author)

City University of New York - Department of Business Management ( email )

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