As lawyers we deal with systems of justice on a daily basis. This is true whether we are working as in-house lawyers, criminal barristers or paralegals. However, the connection of our work to justice is often obscured by the detail of our work or sometimes its remoteness. Reviewing a data room for a share acquisition can seem worlds away from the Black Lives Matter movement, but these are all connected by systems of justice.
Lawyers have a unique position. We enjoy a status as trusted professionals, we give advice on and provide solutions to a dizzying array of issues and problems and we see up close the effects of the law and the justice gaps with great regularity. Yet, lawyers are not generally thought of as ethical leaders. In fact, there is some reluctance amongst the profession to embrace that role.
I was privileged to host a discussion with Abimbola Johnson and Carlos M Brown to talk in-depth about the role of lawyers as ethical leaders and our relationship with racial justice from both the UK and US perspectives. We talked about the fundamental nature of justice in our society, how it differs from due process and why the law is always running a few steps behind justice and ethics. Abimbola and Carlos had deep insights on the barriers to ethical leadership for lawyers and the tools and role we have in ensuring the system we work for is a just one.
You can listen to episode 58 of The Hearing here.