Indiana Law Journal

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Publication Date


Publication Citation

90 Indiana Law Journal 1639 (2015)


Behavioral insights have informed many areas of law, including the field of professional responsibility. Those insights, however, have had only a modest effect on the foundational theories of legal ethics, even though those theories are, at their core, prescriptions about human behavior. The reality is that lawyers’ conduct cannot be understood, theorized about, or used to produce the best possible regulations without an appreciation for the limits on human rationality and objectivity. A behavioral theory of legal ethics offers a way to incorporate those realties into the foundational debates on a lawyer’s professional role so that scholars can produce more useful, normatively appealing, and empirically justifiable models for lawyer conduct, regulation, and education.