Ethical Leadership in Professional Life

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Long title: 
Ethical Leadership in Professional Life, 6 UNIV. ST. THOMAS L.J. (2009)
Author(s): 
Hamilton, Neil
Publication: 
University of St. Thomas Law Journal, 2009
Year: 
2009
Country: 
USA
URL (web address): 

Introduction
This essay starts by setting up the challenge: the legal profession controls one branch of government and dominates leadership positions in the other two branches, and second to MBA’s, holds executive positions in the business sector. These leadership positions allow the legal profession to exert a great deal of influence in shaping the culture and direction of both individual organizations and society itself. However, even though both the profession’s rhetoric and lawyers’ responsibilities in government and private sector decision-making call for morally responsible leadership, virtually nothing happens in the law school curriculum to help students develop leadership skills.

This essay argues: first, that lawyers clearly should and do play ethical leadership roles (1) in their relationships with both individual and organizational clients, (2) in the legal profession and (3) in society generally. Second, that legal education should prepare students for these roles.2 Third, each law student should commit herself to the development over a career to serve her clients, her employer, her profession, and society as an ethical leader.

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