Grounding legal ethics learning in social scientific studies of lawyers at work
Legal ethics education, in Australia and elsewhere, has emphasised normative accounts of lawyers' professional responsibility. In the alternative we suggest legal ethical education should be informed by social scientific studies of lawyers' work. We argue that these studies reveal that legal practice is permeated with opportunities for choice, despite the rules and contextual factors that influence lawyersv practice decisions. We suggest that teaching that is designed to encourage students to come to terms with both the frequency and the situational complexity of ethical decision making, in the many discretionary spaces that inhabit the lawyer' s role, may result in qualitatively better learning outcomes in legal ethics education.