Making Lawyers Moral:

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Long title: 
Making Lawyers Moral:Ethical Codes and Moral Character
Author(s): 
Donald Nicolson
Publication: 
Legal Studies
Volume number: 
24
Issue number: 
4
Year: 
2005
First page number: 
601
Last page number: 
626
Country: 
UK

This article argues that professional codes of conduct cannot perform the
important task of ensuring that lawyers uphold high ethical standards.
Instead, moral behaviour by lawyers requires the development of fixed
behavioural attributes relevant to legal practice – what may be called a
lawyer’s professional moral character. At the same time, however, along
with other factors, professional codes are important in that they can either
contribute to or detract from the successful development of professional
moral character. If so, it is argued that in order to have the best chance of
assisting the character development of lawyers, codes should neither take
the form of highly detailed or extremely vague, aspirational norms, but
should instead guide ethical decision-making by requiring them to consider
a wide range of contextual factors when resolving ethical dilemmas.

Status: 
Published
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