The Ethics of Teaching and Scientific Research

By Sidney Hook; Paul Kurtz et al. | Go to book overview

Legal Ethics and
the Adversary System

Gray Dorsey
Washington University School of Law*

Judge Frankel asserts an ethical obligation of law professors to develop and teach the ethics of the profession, as well as the substantive and procedural law. He indicts the legal professoriate for condoning an unsatisfactory ethical status quo by failing to lead in the critical study, constructive revision, and teaching of legal ethics.


FAILURE TO
TEACH LEGAL ETHICS

Undoubtedly the law schools have only recently begun to give serious attention to legal ethics. There are now five books intended, or suitable, for use as the principal resource in a legal ethics course. This is about the same number of books available for adoption by the teacher of a standard course such as contracts or torts. The legal ethics books are by able persons and present the hard questions raised by Judge Frankel in his remarks. The earliest copyright on these five books is 1966, although three are successors of earlier editions or books. 1 In many law schools the legal ethics course has recently been introduced, or efforts have recently been made to raise the course above the level of hortatory or anecdotal triviality.

The first result that one would expect from the past absence of meaningful legal ethics courses in law schools is that graduates would not know the ethical obligations of the lawyer to his client and to the

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