Lawyers and Fidelity to Law

Even lawyers who obey the law often seem to act unethically–interfering with the discovery of truth, subverting justice, and inflicting harm on innocent people. Standard arguments within legal ethics attempt to show why it is permissible to do something as a lawyer that it would be wrong to do as an ordinary person. But in the view of most critics these arguments fail to turn wrongs into rights. Even many lawyers think legal ethics is flawed because it does not accurately describe the considerable moral value of their work. In Lawyers and Fidelity to Law, Bradley Wendel introduces a new conception of legal ethics that addresses the concerns of lawyers and their critics alike.

W. Bradley Wendel is professor of law at Cornell Law School.

We invite you to read the introduction online at:

Lawyers and Fidelity to Law
By W. Bradley Wendel
Read the introduction online at:


  1. If we as lawyers defend or represent a client and he’d be charged with having acted “unethically”, we would hopefully respond “(Un)ethical is no acceptable standard. Either something is illegal or legal.”

    I don’t know why some lawyers insist that we should adhere to a different standard than the law itself.