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International Perspectives on Legal Ethics: A View from the Americas

International Perspectives on Legal Ethics: A View from the Americas (Program)

Martin Bohmer, Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina); Timothy Casey, California Western School of Law (US) (Moderator); Juny Montoya Vargas, Universided de Los Andes (Colombia); Ricardo Garcia de la Rosa, Instituto Tecnologico Automono de Mexico (Mexico); Jose Carlos Llerena Robles, Universidad del PacĂ­fico Law School (Peru); Maria Lucia Torres Villareal, Universidad de Rosario (Colombia); and Ronaldo Porto Macedo Jr., Universidade de Sao Paulo Law School (Brazil)      

International Perspectives on Legal Ethics: A View from the Americas 

Legal ethics is a proxy for the role of lawyers in a constitutional democracy.  As nations evolve from code-based legal systems where lawyers serve primmarily as 'readers' of the law to legal systems where lawyers interpret and shape the law, the ethics of lawyering becomes a critical piece in the structure of legal system.  Legal ethics should be integrated into constitutional systems of government. 

In the first part of the program, voices from Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and Mexico will describe the state of affairs in various constitutional democracies, the evolving role of lawyers, and the critical function of legal ethics. In the second part of the presentation, representatives from Argentina, Colombia, and the United States will share experiences teaching legal ethics in the clinical context. The third part of the program will be an interactive exchange with the audience. 

We will explore several questions:  What is the connection between evolving legal systems and the role of lawyers?  Why is legal ethics important to the professional identity of lawyers in a constitutional democracy or to the rule of law? Should lawyers receive formal training in legal ethics? Should ethics be a part of the law school curriculum?  What are the challenges in teaching ethics - either to law students or to lawyers?  What are the most effective means for transferring the key concepts and ideas that animate legal ethics?