Since many of our students will likely be taking the MPRE tomorrow, ’tis the season to consider legal ethics. And, it ends up many people have considered the way that legal ethics are represented in popular culture. Whether you have just finished prepping for the MPRE or are just interested in how popular culture views lawyers, these links provide some fun analysis of the ethical standards of everyone’s favorite fictional lawyers.
The blog Law and the Multiverse has considered legal ethics as they arise in popular culture multiple times:
- The Dark Knight: Legal Ethics – In the Dark Knight, Wayne Enterprises’ lawyer discovers some accounting irregularities. In this post, Law and the Multiverse considers his ethical obligations after making this discovery.
- She-Hulk Gets Disbarred – As some of you may know, She-Hulk is a lawyer, who ultimately gets disbarred, which gives the blog an opportunity to consider whether her alleged ethics violation warranted such an extreme punishment. They also touched on another one of her ethics slips in an earlier post.
- The Lincoln Lawyer – This post takes on legal ethics once again when considering the plot of the movie The Lincoln Lawyer and the ethical dilemmas it presents.
- Wolfram & Hart and…Legal Ethics – This time on the blog Subculture for the Cultured, the Law and the Multiverse authors consider whether ethical rules would allow Angel, a non-lawyer vampire, to serve as CEO of the law firm Wolfram & Hart.
A quick search reveals that several journal articles have also been written on this topic, including:
- Moral Pluck: Legal Ethics in Popular Culture – This article by William H. Simon discusses legal ethics as portrayed in John Grisham’s novels, L.A. Law and The Practice.
- Can They Do That? Legal Ethics in Popular Culture: Of Characters and Acts – This article by Carrie Menkel-Meadow looks at changes in the portrayal of legal ethics in popular culture over time.
- When the Lawyer Knows the Client is Guilty: Client Confessions in Legal Ethics, Popular Culture and Literature – This article by Michael Asimow and Richard Weisberg considers the question of what a lawyer should do if he or she knows a client is guilty through the lens of popular culture and literature.
I hope you enjoyed this list of links; let us know in the comments if you think we missed any great examples of legal ethics (or a lack thereof) in popular culture. And, for all those who are taking the MPRE, good luck!