Ethics

Attorneys play a powerful role in society. Not only do they operate essential legal institutions, but they also help to shape them and other institutions. Lawyers also enjoy a special privilege: their monopoly on the practice of law. With this privilege comes substantial responsibility. How lawyers conduct themselves is important to individuals, their communities, and the legal profession. Consequently, in their personal and professional lives, lawyers must adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct. This requires both that lawyers bring a strong moral character to the study and practice of law, and that they be able to reason effectively about ethical matters. Student who are preparing for law school should thus take courses in ethics, at least one of which should focus on the great traditions of ethics in the western world, and at least one of which should focus on the special ethical problems faced by professionals.