The ethical infrastructure of legal practice in larger law firms: values, policy and behaviour

Parker, Christine and Evans, Adrian and Haller, Linda and Le Mire, Suzanne and Mortensen, Reid (2008) The ethical infrastructure of legal practice in larger law firms: values, policy and behaviour. University of New South Wales Law Journal, 31 (1). pp. 158-188. ISSN 0313-0096

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The article examines the impact of the cultures and organisational structures of large law firms on individual lawyers' ethics. The paper suggests that large law firms in Australia should consciously design and implement 'ethical infrastructures' to both counteract pressures for misbehaviour and positively promote ethical behaviour and discussion. The paper goes on to explain what implementing ethical infrastructures in law firms could and should mean by reference to what Australian law firms are already doing and US innovations in this area. Finally, the paper warns that the 'ethical infrastructure' of a firm should not be seen merely as the formal ethics policies explicitly enunciated by management. Formal and legalistic ethical infrastructures that fail to support or encourage the development of individual lawyers' awareness oftheir own ethical values and ethical judgment in practice will be useless.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Publisher: University of New South Wales
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information (displayed to public): Deposited with blanket permission of publisher.
Depositing User: Prof. Reid Mortensen
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Law
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2009 13:09
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2015 03:24
Uncontrolled Keywords: lawyers; law firms; large legal firms; ethics, ethical infrastructure
Fields of Research (FoR): 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220105 Legal Ethics
22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2201 Applied Ethics > 220102 Business Ethics
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150311 Organisational Behaviour
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO): C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940406 Legal Processes

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