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Legal Profession and Ethics


This course combines what students have learned about corporate social responsibility and a new topic: the qualities of a good lawyer and the instruments for dealing with ethical issues related to transparency, integrity and access to justice. Students will discover the ethical aspects of the work of corporate lawyers and attorneys when dealing with professional dilemmas and stakeholder issues. Do lawyers need to reflect on the responsibility of their employer or client for the impact of their business decisions? How does this relate to the corporate social responsibility of the law firm?

Topics include international and national standards of the legal profession – given by for example the International Bar Association or the European Bar Association – the distinguishing marks of the constitutional state, fair dealing, fair competition, anti-bribery and corporate social responsibility.

The course Legal profession and ethics aims at strengthening the legal profession by:

  • introducing students to ethical dilemmas corporate lawyers and attorneys may face in the course of their work, stakeholder interests and ways to deal with opposition from their boss, corporate management or client;

  • discussing the qualities of a good lawyer in the field of corporate law and in addition, how international standards such as those drafted by the International Bar Association may provide instruments for dealing with dilemmas in the legal profession and contribute to a level playing field, transparency and integrity;

  • generating an understanding of a professional legal environment that maintains standards of transparency and integrity, which will be of use to the students in their current or future work in the field of corporate law

Wendy Rodger
Programme Coordinator LLM (Adv) International Civil and Commercial Law
Office for International Education / Leiden Law School
T: +31 (0)71 527 1228

Interactive lectures and presentations

Written exam and assignements

Full degree in law granting access to the legal profession (or equivalent).