Jen Defoe’s “Ethics in Life” discusses the paramount ethical questions that pertain to the paralegal’s profession. Published in the fourth 2019 issue of Facts & Findings, a quarterly journal of the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), it covers the moral dimension of the paralegal profession. First of all, the author stresses that maintaining ethical standards is an individual responsibility that cannot be surrendered or outsourced (Defoe, 2019). After that, the author proceeds to discuss the four cornerstones of ethical behavior that are the most relevant in a legal profession. In order of appearance, these are integrity, responsibility, justice, and diligence.
Beginning the discussion with integrity, the author stresses that ethics require paralegals to remain upright in their dealings with clients, colleagues, and others. Defoe (2019) refers to the NALA Code of Ethics emphasizing integrity as a key component of professional competence. The second ethically relevant quality is understanding the responsibility of a legal profession. As Defoe (2019) explains, a paralegal has a moral duty to the client and is responsible for fulfilling it to the best of one’s ability. After that, the author proceeds to discuss the ethical importance of justice in the legal profession. Noting that justice lies at the core of jurisprudence, Defoe (2019) explains that clients deserve just treatment from their representatives under all circumstances. Finally, the author also covers the ethical obligation of working diligently on the client’s case regardless of personal inconveniences it might entail (Defoe, 2019). The article concludes by reiterating the importance of ethical principles of the legal profession in order for a fulfilling professional and personal life.
Defoe, J. (2019). Ethics in life. Facts & Findings. Web.