An Ethical Theory Of Legal Ethics

891 Words4 Pages
Alice Woolley states, “a lawyer will be influenced by an ethical theory because that theory accords with the lawyer’s own intuitions and existing moral commitments ”. However, the issue in determining the ability to be a good lawyer and a good person arises due to problems that are made apparent through the role of the lawyer by society. Through discussion of different theoretical approaches to legal ethics, it will be evident that a lawyer may be influenced by such theories, but ultimately, their decisions are based upon their own intuitions and moral commitments, agreeing with Alice Woolley’s statement. A lawyer is an officer of the court, and the purpose of the court is to seek justice; therefore, lawyers are continuously caught in an inherent ethical battle between their duties to their client and their duties to the court. This results in conflicting perceptions of their role. Traditionally, there are three perceptions of lawyers in society. Firstly, the amoral lawyer, as outlined by Richard Wasserstrom, is evidently in a more dominant position, and to behave impersonally and paternalistically . Secondly, the perception of the lawyer as a friend, as highlighted by Charles Fried who wrote about the solicitor being a part of the community, and would then act in their interest, rather than his or her own . Finally, the moral lawyer, as explained by Thomas L. Schaffer and Robert F. Cochran who analyze the way lawyers are able to reasonably pick and choose their clients
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