This study attempts to answer an essential social policy question: what values are characteristic of the mass of Australian lawyers’in their last year of law school and their early careers, and how do these values develop or degrade over time? This question is important because of the concern felt in the community as to the activities of lawyers. In recent years the Australian legal profession has sustained more scrutiny by governments, regulators and consumer movements than in any previous period of our history. The perception that practitioners’competencies and ethics are deficient and materially linked both to reduced standards of performance and to higher levels of public complaints, has received attention from academics, law societies, parliamentary committees and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: January 1, 2002
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Legal Ethics is an international and interdisciplinary journal devoted to the field of legal ethics. The journal provides an intellectual meeting ground for academic lawyers, practitioners and policy-makers to debate developments shaping the ethics of law and its practice at the micro and macro levels. Its focus is broad enough to encompass empirical research on the ethics and conduct of the legal professions and judiciary, studies of legal ethics education and moral development, ethics development in contemporary professional practice, the ethical responsibilities of law schools, professional bodies and government, and jurisprudential or wider philosophical reflections on law as an ethical system and on the moral obligations of individual lawyers.