2 answers

With becoming a lawyer and knowing what things a job like that can entail, what’s a good thing to remember when it comes to balancing your morals/ values with the types of situations and scenarios that will be placed before you.

Asked Richmond, Virginia

separating your morals and values from your job itself. #lawyers

2 answers

Elizabeth’s Answer

Hi, my best advice would be to stay true to yourself, your own sense of integrity and what you believe to be right. This begins with carefully considering the area of law you'd like to pursue. You might not want to become a criminal defense attorney, for example, if you do not think you could represent someone you felt committed a crime. As an employment lawyer and now as an employee relations specialist, I advise my clients to do the right thing - the right thing under the law and the fair, right, consistent thing as a human being. I think you can find an area of the law and a job that will allow you to give good advice, but never compromise your integrity by signing off on a decision or action that you know in your gut is wrong.

Kim’s Answer

Updated San Antonio, Texas

Lawyers are governed by a Code of Ethics. It is important to spend some time reading these and understanding them. Many situations on their face may not even seem wrong. For example, can you represent a woman in a divorce proceeding if you previously represented her husband's employer in a healthcare benefits dispute? That seems like a far-fetched example, but what if, in representing the employer, you somehow gained access to information that you can use to the wife's advantage in the divorce case?

I'm not a lawyer, but have worked with them. The most important thing as a lawyer is that you are representing your client - trying to get the best possible outcome for him/her, without violating the code of ethics. Every person deserves the best possible outcome on the punishment phase, even a convicted murderer. That is at the heart of our legal system.

Lawyers are considered "officers of the court" and are expected to act accordingly. They are not supposed to knowingly allow their client to lie under oath. Read up on the topic of "testifying in the narrative." It's interesting!