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The Managerial Law Firm and the Globalization of Legal Ethics

Bjorn Fasterling
Journal of Business Ethics
Vol. 88, No. 1, Professional Ethics in Business and Social Life - The Eben 21st Annual Conference in Antalya (Aug., 2009), pp. 21-34
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40294981
Page Count: 14
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The Managerial Law Firm and the Globalization of Legal Ethics
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Abstract

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.

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