A few weeks ago I posted C in ethics? You’re on the right track. In it, I offered two cheat codes to stay on the right side of the rules.
The first was my own: don’t lie, cheat or steal. Nearly every violation falls under one.
The second was Brian Faughnan’s recipe for ethical lawyering. The recipe? The 5 C’s:
Today I present a third: it’s all about the bad grades.
Alberto Bernabe is a professor at John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Professor Bernabe teaches torts and professional responsibility. He maintains a blog for each topic. His torts blog is here, and his professional responsibility blog is here. Professor Bernabe is also a frequent member of this blog’s #fiveforfriday Honor Roll in legal ethics.
In response to my post on the 5 C’s, Professor Bernabe shared a story with me. He urges his students to remember the general principles behind the rules. He does so by suggesting that they associate those principles with the grades that they do not want to earn in a semester: 4 C’s, 1 D, and 1 F. That is:
Professor Bernabe’s full blog post on bad grades is here.
I love the semi-mnemonic. Diligence and the fiduciary duty to clients are as important as the 5 C’s.
Thank you Professor Bernabe for another arrow in the quiver.
- Don’t lie, cheat or steal
- Remember the 5 C’s
- Ethics: it’s all about the bad grades