The managerial law firm and the globalization of legal ethics

Journal of Business Ethics 88 (1):21 - 34 (2009)
The processes of economic integration induced by globalization have brought about a certain type of legal practice that challenges the core values of legal ethics. Law firms seeking to represent the interests of internationally active corporate clients must embrace and systematically apply concepts of strategic management and planning and install corporate business structures to sustain competition for lucrative clients. These measures bear a high conflict potential with the core values of legal ethics. However, we observe in parallel a global consolidation of these core values through an enhanced cooperation of national professional bodies, the use of international codes, and comparative legal ethics teaching and research. Furthermore, state regulation of the legal profession is concerned with preserving the core values of legal ethics to conserve the lawyer's role in upholding the rule of law. This article defends that legal ethics is adapting to the pressures exerted by "managerial" approaches to legal practice without this altering core values that underlie legal ethics
Keywords comparative legal ethics  international codes of ethics  law firm management  law firms  legal ethics  professional ethics  professions
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