Zero impact: are lawyers' values affected by law school?(Survey)

Evans, Adrian and Palermo, Josephine 2005, Zero impact: are lawyers' values affected by law school?(Survey), Legal ethics, vol. 8, no. 2, Winter, pp. 240-264.

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Title Zero impact: are lawyers' values affected by law school?(Survey)
Author(s) Evans, Adrian
Palermo, Josephine
Journal name Legal ethics
Volume number 8
Issue number 2
Season Winter
Start page 240
End page 264
Publisher Hart Publishing
Place of publication Oxford, England
Publication date 2005
ISSN 1460-728X
Summary In 2001 approximately 700 Australian final-year undergraduate law students were surveyed as the first part of a three-year study of Australian lawyers' values. This study is being undertaken in an effort to understand what values are important in determining lawyers' attitudes to difficult behavioural choices confronting them in legal practice. It is hoped that knowledge of the actual values held by lawyers (in the context of critical professional choices) will enable better targeted values awareness education in both pre- and post-admission contexts.

The main quantitative survey employed a number of hypothetical scenarios. These were designed through the use of ethical dilemmas to examine issues of conflicting loyalties within a context of self-interest and lawyers' perceived obligations to the community, employers, family, friends and clients. (1)

Our approach in this paper is to set the scene by providing basic frequencies to responses in each scenario, followed by an analysis of themes elicited from respondents during the focus groups. Our immediate objective is to provide representative interviewee (that is, respondent) commentary designed to throw some light on the major choices of those respondents in the first year of the main quantitative survey. (2) Note that these focus groups were conducted some months after the quantitative analyses, and in particular after respondents had left law school. All respondents were, by that stage, working within a variety of legal workforce environments. In this analysis, it must be stressed, we have not attempted to match and compare individual respondents' comments with their earlier choices in the quantitative survey. That task awaits the longitudinal analysis now under way for the whole period of data collection during the three-year study.

Language eng
Field of Research 220105 Legal Ethics
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2005, Hart Publishing
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