Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The ethics of legal professions are concerned with issues of what work lawyers should do, how they should perform their work, and, particularly, how they should treat clients and others. The promise of ethical conduct is one reason why governments grant a monopoly over legal services to legal professions. Ethical rules and practices often have deep historical roots, but the issue of ethics has strong contemporary relevance because of ongoing debates about whether the professions serve the public interest. Scholars define professionalism in various ways. Some see it as a system of controlling an occupation or the control an occupation has over the market for its services. Professionalism is also associated with a person's adherence to a set of standards, codified or accepted as characterizing accepted practice in an occupation. Structurally, this is supported by collegiality in the professional group. Professions are associated with norms of behavior that exceed or ...