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Legal ethics is defined as unwritten rather than written rules of behavior which is expected of attorneys.
Kirchner, Stefan. “Legal Ethics in Germany.” Indon. J. Int’l & Comp. L. 2 (2015): 98.
Another definition of legal ethics is the decisions lawyers make about the ethical aspectsof their work lives, which are guided by objective considerations such as formal rules that embodynorms and principles, and subjective considerations such as moral orientation.
Evers, Maxine, and Lesley Townsley. “The importance of ethics in the law curriculum: essential or incidental?.” The Law Teacher (2015): 1-23.
Standards of professional conduct applicable to members of the legal profession.
Black’s Law Dictionary (9th ed. 2009)
Narrow definition: Legal ethics, however, is much more circumscribed [than religious and theological ethics]. Its core is in codes and rules; it is a technical subject in which one learns, for example, the intricacies of conflicts and of reasonable fees; it is tested on multiple choice exams.
Leslie Griffin, The Relevance of Religion to a Lawyer’s Work: Legal Ethics, 66FORDHAM L. REV. 1253, 1253 (1998). Cited in: Tremblay, Paul R. “Critical Legal Ethics.” Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 20 (2006).
Broadly defined 'legal ethics' includes leading our lives as lawyers, making decisions about our clients, our opponents, ourselves, and our families,searching to be ‘good lawyers’ as well as ‘good people’.
Tremblay, Paul R. “Critical Legal Ethics.” Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 20 (2006).
In the past, the definition of legal ethics encompassed much of what is currently defined asprofessionalism
Neuner Jr, Frank X. “Professionalism: charting a different course for the new millennium.” Tul. L. Rev. 73 (1998): 2041.
Definition of "legal ethics" embraces more than mere compliance with rules of professional conduct, the start and end point of most current vocational training.
Economides, Kim, and Justine Rogers. Preparatory ethics training for future solicitors. Law Society, 2009.
In one sense, the term ‘legal ethics’ refers narrowly to the system of professional regulations governing the conduct of lawyers. In a broader sense, however, legal ethics is simply a special case of ethics in general, as ethics is understood in the central traditions of philosophy and religion. From this broader perspective, legal ethics cuts more deeply than legal regulation: it concerns the fundamentals of our moral lives as lawyers.
DAVID LUBAN & DEBORAH L. RHODE, LEGAL ETHICS 3 (1992). Cited in: ABA – Ethics in the Practice of Elder Law body – American Bar Association.