Roundtable on Legal Ethics in Legal Education: Should it be a Required Course?

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At the International Legal Ethics Conference IV held at Stanford Law School between 15 and 17 July 2010, one of the two opening plenary sessions consisted of a panel who debated the proposition that legal ethics should be mandatory in legal education. The panel included leading legal ethics academics from jurisdictions around the world—both those where legal ethics is a compulsory part of the law degree and those where it is not. It comprised Professors Andrew Boon, Brent Cotter, Christine Parker, Stephen L Pepper and Richard Wu, and was organised and chaired by Professor Kim Economides. This is an edited version of the panel's discussion. It provides a useful summary of the state of legal ethics teaching in the jurisdictions represented as well as a marshalling of the arguments for and against legal ethics as a required course in the university law degree.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2011

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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.
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