Lawyers are amongst the most powerful and respected professionals whilst also being amongst the most regularly criticised. The first half of the course looks at why lawyers have gained their privileged status; what it means to be a professional and whether lawyers live up to their side of the professional bargain. Throughout the course we will look closely at research on the profession and seek to hone your skills of critical thinking and writing; helping you develop some of the tools necessary to critically evaluate what goes on in court rooms and lawyers' offices.
The second half of the course looks more closely at the ethics of the legal profession. It takes some of the lawyers' key ethical duties and some of the key associated ethical dilemmas and looks at these carefully to see how far law and morality co-exist, but also how the professional rules seek to aid lawyers in the resolution of professional tensions. We also consider the education and training of lawyers and look at diversity in the legal profession.
We use academic research to provide some understanding of why lawyers might be criticised, but it is important that you seek to understand the academic debates in a current context.