Ethics, Professional Responsibility, Law Firms, Regulation, Management


This Article looks at the importance of teaching law graduates to be ethical lawyers. The author hypothesizes that the current versions of the ethical rules and the structure of law firms have the potential to encourage the professionalization of ethics rather than connecting all practitioners to the values of professional responsibility. This Article sets out the factors that contribute to the increased professionalization of professional responsibility in large law firms. These factors are the need for lawyers to always be accessible, the pressure to specialize in a specific field, and the complexity of the ethics rules as written. The author argues that as a whole the ethics rules need to be more accessible to the ordinary, non-expert practitioner, would be a valuable contribution. The three specific proposals are the creation of specialty-specific ethics education, acknowledge the contribution of the ethics specialists, and to draft the ethics rules differently. The goal of this new approach is to “de-professionalize” ethics and remind each lawyer of her obligation to be an ethical practitioner



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