Cover image for Moral vision and professional decisions : the changing values of women and men lawyers
Moral vision and professional decisions : the changing values of women and men lawyers
Jack, Rand.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge [England] ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Physical Description:
xv, 218 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Added Author:
Format :


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KF306 .J33 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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What does it mean today to 'think like a lawyer'? Drawing on extensive interviews with men and women attorneys, the authors explore how moral reasoning affects lawyers' understanding of justice and their own role in promoting it. This examination of personal and institutional imperatives in the legal profession, illustrated with quotations from the lawyers themselves, raises questions that transcend traditional discussions of legal ethics. The authors examine: the relationship between gender and patterns of moral thinking; the ways that personal morality affects public and professional responsibility; the legal system's response to social changes in public ethics and in women's roles. In conclusion the authors offer suggestions for constructive changes in legal education and the code of professional ethics to foster morally responsive democracy. All those concerned with moral reasoning, gender roles, and the evolution of the legal system will find this stimulating and timely reading.

Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

To research this incisive study of ``lawyers' moral values and psychological development'' in light of potentially influential gender differences as law draws increasing numbers of women into its ranks, Rand Jack, an attorney, and his coauthor wife, a developmental psychologist, interviewed 36 lawyers practicing in Washington State. They raised such issues as ``How do attorneys reconcile personal values with the conflicting demands and obligations of their trade?'' and ``Do women bring a different point of view to the practice of law?'' They conclude that women lawyers often battle for ``women's causes'' and challenge their allegedly more aggressive and amoral male counterparts in a quest for sensitive, caring practice of their trade. The authors also discuss how lawyers of each gender cope with the gap between professional and personal morality, and suggest that the influx of female attorneys may help to bridge this gap. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Women lawyers tend to be oriented toward ``care,'' social order, and individual well being; men think more of ``rights.'' Justice and legal change need both. Or so the authors argue after interviewing 36 lawyers in a single county in the state of Washington. The results are what might be expected, although this county's remoteness, ethnic makeup, and local traditions--as well as the specific legal issues posed--may have affected the findings. Still, the social conditioning women experience does affect their legal practice. One way to cope with this is to make the profession more susceptible to feminine influence, an idea, however, that some may think is another way of ``using'' women. A thought-provoking book for laypeople and lawyers alike.-- Leslie Armour, Univ. of Ottawa, Canada (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

A brilliantly conceived and executed study of morality orientations in the legal profession. The need for the study has been brought on by the large influx of women into the field of law. Women bring care orientation to the traditional rights orientation of legal morality. The study is based on extensive interviews with 36 lawyers (18 women and 18 men) and focuses on the relationship of the two morality orientations. Filled with detailed descriptions of the issues of morality in the work of the individual lawyers, the study carefully explores what women lawyers bring to the morality approaches of the profession. The interviews were also coded (adding a quantitative dimension) and presented in appendixes. The work is clearly written in lay language and persuasively urges the legal profession to move toward the development of "a more morally responsive advocate," starting in the law schools. Valuable bibliography. Highly recommended for public, college, university and law libraries. -L. E. Noble Jr., Clark Atlanta University

Table of Contents

1 Care and rights: two ways of perceiving the world
2 The lawyer's role: partisanship, neutrality and moral distance
3 Personal morality: the orientation of lawyers toward rights and care
4 Personal morality and attorney role: changing perceptions of professional obligation
5 Women lawyers: archetype and alternatives
6 Toward a more morally responsive advocate