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  • July 1, 2010

    The Myth Of The Moral Attourney: What Would Atticus Finch Do?

    Critical Issues Of Our Time, Centre for American Studies at the University of Western Ontario, Vol. 4

    To a great extent and to the even greater consternation of legal laymen around the Western World, ethics and the law have very little to do with one another. It's quite possibly even worse than that: Legal ethics may actually be a misnomer. Yes, law schools in America teach courses in legal ethics. State bar associations require graduating law students to pass a separate legal ethics exam before obtaining their license to practice law. And practicing lawyers are obligated to take continuing legal education courses, specifically in ethics, to maintain their accreditation. And, yet, despite all these efforts to instill an ethos of ethics in the minds of attorneys, the actual ethical rules that govern the practice of law bear little resemblance to public morality, which is precisely what laypersons believe legal ethics to be.

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