Module Database Search

Module Title
Legal Ethics And Professional Responsibility

professions, theories of ethics, role differentiation,

SCQF Points15
ECTS Points7.5
CreatedMarch 2010
ApprovedMay 2010
AmendedAugust 2013
Version No.2

This Version is No Longer Current
The latest version of this module is available here
Prerequisites for Module

None other than SCQF 10 entry requirements or equivalent.

Corequisite Modules


Precluded Modules


Aims of Module

To familiarise students with the structure of the legal profession, and the roles and responsibilities of lawyers;
and to provide students with a critical conceptual grounding in legal ethics and professional responsibility

Learning Outcomes for Module

On completion of this module, students are expected to be able to:

1. Describe and evaluate the structure and regulation of the legal profession, and the roles and responsibilities of lawyers
2. Critically assess a range of ethical theories
3. Apply ethical theory and appropriate professional rules to practical situations in professional life.

Indicative Module Content

Professions and Professionalism

The Legal Profession – history, organisation, and regulation

Theories of Normative Ethics

Role-Differentiated Ethics

Clients: The Fiduciary Relationship

Duties to Clients: Competence, Care

Duties to Clients: Confidentiality

Duties to Clients: Conflicts of Interest

Special situations: "in-house" lawyering; lawyers in the public service; lawyers as mediators

Duties to Court and others

Duties to the community: legal services and pro bono work

Fee structures

Legislative Reform, changes to the legal profession; profession or business; "alternative business structures"/ "multidisciplinary practices"?

Judicial ethics

Indicative Student Workload

Contact Hours

Full Time

Directed Study



Private Study



Mode of Delivery

The teaching methodology on the module will consist of lectures, seminars and student-led discussions

Assessment Plan

Learning Outcomes Assessed
Component 1 2,3
Component 2 1,2,3

One open-book examination at the end of the module (50%)

Coursework (50%) consisting of one piece of written work.

Indicative Bibliography

1.HERRING, J., 2014. Legal ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2.KRONMAN, A., 1995. The lost lawyer: failing ideals of the legal profession. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.
3.PARKER C. and EVANS A., 2007. Inside lawyers' ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
4.PATERSON, A. and RITCHIE, B., 2014. Law practice and conduct for solicitors. 2nd ed. Edinburgh: Thomson/W. Green.
5.RHODE, D., 2000. Ethics in practice: lawyers' roles, responsibilities, and regulation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Robert Gordon University, Garthdee House, Aberdeen, AB10 7QB, Scotland, UK: a Scottish charity, registration No. SC013781