'Nudging' Better Lawyer Behavior: Using Default Rules and Incentives to Change Behavior in Law Firms

St. Mary's Journal of Legal Ethics & Malpractice, Vol. 4, p. 42, 2014

UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series

71 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2014 Last revised: 16 Dec 2014

Nancy B. Rapoport

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law

Date Written: June 27, 2014

Abstract

This article examines how incentives in law firms can affect lawyer behavior and suggests some possible changes to incentive structures and default rules that might improve the ethical behavior of lawyers.

In the changing landscape of law practice — where law firm profits are threatened by such changes as increased pressure from clients to economize and the concomitant opportunities for clients to shop around for the most efficient lawyers — are there ways to change how things are done in law firms so that firms can provide more efficient and ethical service? This article suggests that an understanding of cognitive biases and basic behavioral economics will help law firms tweak their incentives and default rules to promote the improved delivery of legal services.

Keywords: legal profession, legal ethics, professional responsibility, behavioral economics, social science, incentives, default rules, ethics

JEL Classification: A19, A10, D7

Suggested Citation

Rapoport, Nancy B., 'Nudging' Better Lawyer Behavior: Using Default Rules and Incentives to Change Behavior in Law Firms (June 27, 2014). St. Mary's Journal of Legal Ethics & Malpractice, Vol. 4, p. 42, 2014; UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2460078

Nancy B. Rapoport (Contact Author)

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law ( email )

4505 S. Maryland Parkway
Box 451003
Las Vegas, NV 89154-1003
United States
713-202-1881 (Phone)
702-895-2482 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.unlv.edu

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