Foundations of Professionalism

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Long title: 
Tools for Strengthening the Foundations of Legal Professionalism
Author(s): 
Economides, Kim
Author(s)' contact information: 
Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
Conference title: 
International Legal Ethics Conference VI
Conference location: 
City University London
Country: 
UK
Year: 
2014

This paper asks what practical steps might be taken to strengthen the ethical and moral foundations of those who practise law. My approach is not confined to any specific jurisdiction but rather seeks to identify global resources that could support ethical awareness of those entering legal practice, as well as those who are mid-career. I focus on three key areas: (1) the role of ‘justice’ in current legal education; (2) the role of ‘oaths/declarations’ at the point of entry to (or exit from) law school, and upon entry to the legal professions; and (3) the role of ‘ethics’ in Mandatory Continuing Legal Development (MCPD) or re-accreditation/re-validation. At each stage I make proposals designed to produce more ethically robust legal professionals and conclude by asking whether the IAOLE should take a more positive lead in championing, not just efforts "to enhance the study, teaching, and awareness of ethical issues in law schools, legal practice and continuing legal education programs", but also meaningful commitment to the underlying, and often unarticulated, ethical and legal values that support professionalism within the legal field.

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