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The Effect of Legal Professionalization on Moral Reasoning: A Reply to Professor Vischer and Professor Wendel

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Title: The Effect of Legal Professionalization on Moral Reasoning: A Reply to Professor Vischer and Professor Wendel
Author: Hatfield, Michael
Abstract: This paper is a reply to Robert K. Vischer’s article, Professionalizing Moral Engagement (A Response to Michael Hatfield), and W. Bradley Wendel’s article, Deference to Clients and Obedience to Law: The Ethics of the Torture Lawyers (A Response to Professor Hatfield). Both Vischer and Wendel were writing in response to Hatfield’s article, Professionalizing Moral Deference, 101 Nw. U. L. Rev. Colloquy 1 (2009). Hatfield explains that while he is grateful for Professor Vischer and Professor Wendel and their thought-provoking responses, their articles do not address the central focus of Hatfield’s original article: the effect of legal training and practice on lawyers’ moral reasoning. Instead, Hatfield contends that the responses of Professor Vischer and Professor Wendel focus on the role of moral reasoning in legal reasoning. In this paper, Professor Hatfield expounds on the effect of legal education and practice on lawyers’ moral reasoning. Hatfield posits that lawyers are professionalized in a manner that undermines moral reasoning skills, which affects their professional behavior. Hatfield cites the “Torture Memos” as exemplary of the decadence of lawyers’ moral reasoning skills.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10601/1307
Related Resources: Click to follow SSRN link
Date: 2010

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