'To act is to be committed, and to be committed is to be in danger': the vulnerability of the young lawyer in ethical crisis

Ching, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-9815-8804, Ferris, G. ORCID: 0000-0003-0574-1978 and Jarman, J., 2022. 'To act is to be committed, and to be committed is to be in danger': the vulnerability of the young lawyer in ethical crisis. Legal Ethics. ISSN 1460-728X (Forthcoming)

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Abstract

This paper takes as its starting point the phenomenon of young lawyers in ethical crisis. The teaching of ethics in the classroom and the ethos and environment of the law firm have created dissonance: knowing what it is right to do but being unable to do it. In examining this phenomenon, we develop the idea of commitment as a source of duty, loyalty, and courage that enables someone to accept and overcome reluctance to act ethically. Our conceptual framework combines two models: Fineman’s radical view that vulnerability is universal, but ameliorated by the assets available to the individual, and Rest’s four component model that provides a taxonomy of precursors for ethical action and resilience. We consider how the structures and the relationships between law schools, regulators and law firms, acting in combination, support or degrade ethical resilience and development of a commitment to ethical action. We close by considering how changes to the structure planned by one regulator in England and Wales depletes the assets available to the young lawyer and thereby the profession.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Legal Ethics
Creators: Ching, J., Ferris, G. and Jarman, J.
Publisher: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Date: 27 May 2022
ISSN: 1460-728X
Identifiers:
NumberType
1550238Other
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Law School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 16 Jun 2022 10:04
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2022 10:04
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/46456

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