Let’s get ethical: Is there a difference in the ethics of corporate lawyers and high street lawyers?

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  • Perhaps we should be asking ourselves why magazines and websites such as 'The Lawyer', 'Lawyer 2B', the Law Society 'Gazette' et al. seem to focus almost entirely on corporate law and corporate law firms. There are other lawyers out there who don't dance around the city-slicker clichés!

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  • I question your ability to read if you thought that the focus of the above article was focused almost entirely on corporate law and corporate firms.

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  • So many unsubstantiated and un-evidenced statements made here.

    Are trainees at high street firms not predisposed to wanting to please partners just as trainees at corporate firms are?

    "If partners are not considering the impact of their decisions on society..." Who says they aren't?

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  • I question your ability to write, Anonymous (11.3.14), if you think it is correct grammar to say 'the focus...was focused..on'. Did you mean 'the focus...was...upon'?

    I'd also question your ability to read if you thought that my comment was on this article only.

    That said, I'd even go further as to question your ability to understand English if you don't know what someone means when they ask 'why magazines and websites such as 'The Lawyer', 'Lawyer 2B', the Law Society 'Gazette' et al. seem to focus almost entirely on corporate law and corporate law firms.' Have you ventured onto the homepages of said magazines, or did you write your comment in the name of being self-conceited and smug?

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  • Out of interest I did go on the Lawyer 2B homepage Up North.

    As of 13/03 there were links to 26 articles in the main sections (news, Student Voices, Insight, Blogs, Opinion, Webcast)

    Of those 26, just four were heavily focused on corporate law and corporate law firms (Slaughter and May retention, Herbert Smith female partnership targets, 'Legal Players Head for Pastures New' and the webcast.

    Plenty of non-corporate topics are covered: family law (articles on same sex marriage and pre-nups), residential conveyancing (apprenticeships launched), legal executives (one man's route to partnership without a degree) and the public sector (NHS and the use of patient data).

    Most of the other articles were 'neutral' in focus - should there be cameras in courtrooms, Richard III judicial review kicks off, social media for aspiring lawyers. So I'm not sure if your argument stands up.

    If anything the Gazette is even less corporate-focused.

    As for why The Lawyer concentrates on corporate law? Answer: because it is a magazine for corporate lawyers and their clients.

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  • To 'A Different Anonymous'.

    I think your observations are incorrect and you've not understood the point being made further above. The focus of most, if not all, 'law' websites and magazines is, as I have witnessed over the years, and having read the Gazette umpteen times, on corporate law and the world of corporate lawyers.

    'The Lawyer' may primarily be aimed at such law/lawyers, but it gives off the wrong signals to aspiring lawyers that there is no legal profession beyond the City. I have visited universities and given talks but there is almost no interest in high street law because students are always wooed by the slick partner or self-deluded trainee bragging about the high life. That is my observation, anyway. I've experienced it, and it's not all it's made out to be, hence the escape to the high street where at least I can go home with no unnecessary stress. The truth seeps through once you get trainees applying left, right and centre when they realise, often too late, that there is a world beyond corporate law, that corporate law is not the key to making millions, and that not being a corporate lawyer does not mean you're a legal failure.

    I don't know how many of these websites you've perused or how long you've been in the profession, but there is far too much weight on corporate lawyers than the rest, and dare I say it, a lot of 'ego tripping' in many of the people featured in the articles. I dislike this. It gives off the wrong impression of what the legal profession should be about. It should not be about 'ego tripping', arrogance or vanity, but rather about portraying a positive, respectful image to the public.

    If I were a member of the public coming onto pages like these, I wouldn't want to have the dishonour of ever meeting a lawyer!

    But what do I know compared to you, eh? I am, after all, a lawyer in a town surrounded by hills and sheep.

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  • For the article to state that corporate lawyers facilitated the 2008 crisis in whole or in part is absurd. Financial markets would have continued to operate in any case.

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