A Professional Is Ethical

Here I’m not talking about the legal ethics you studied in class, although for attorneys the rules governing their professional conduct are often referred to as “Rules of Professional Conduct.” Certainly every attorney will want you to know, respect and apply the rules of legal ethics demanded of them by the court or other body that supervises and disciplines them as professionals. They will require you do to so even if they are not naturally inclined towards following them simply to avoid discipline. Most attorneys are aware that they are responsible for what their staff does even if they do not understand the particular role of a paralegal and their special obligation to supervise paralegals.

What you need to show your attorney is not only that you understand the ethical requirements of the legal profession, but that you have and follow a personal ethic that raises you to the level of a professional. Now I am not suggesting that non-professionals are not ethical or never have to make ethical choices. My remarks are made in the context of our discussion of you as a paralegal having or wanting more responsibility – responsibility reserved to professionals as a result of their specialized knowledge and experience. With that responsibility comes more opportunity for non-ethical choices and an higher expectation for ethical behavior.

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