Mirror of Justice

A blog dedicated to the development of Catholic legal theory.
Affiliated with the Program on Church, State & Society at Notre Dame Law School.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Practicing Corporate Law

Rick asks what others think about the points raised by Steve Bainbridge and Dave Hoffman objecting to the tendency to equate serving the common good and the public interest with what we term "public interest law." 

The broad point that one can serve the common good by practicing in a variety of areas outside of those labeled "public interest law" seems to me patently obvious.  And I have no disagreement with Rick's conclusion that one can serve the poor and disadvantaged by being a conscientious prosecutor.

However, I do quarrel with the point raised in Steve's post and I've expressed my skepticism (OK, more than skepticism) of his and Michael Novak's "rising tide raises all ships" position in my article, A Catholic Vision of the Corporation (posted on the sidebar).  Thus, I don't think one can claim to be serving the common good simply by becoming a corporate lawyer and helping corporations make a lot of money.

Having said that, I do think corporations have the potential to greatly serve the common good, as I argue both in the piece cited above and also in Using Religion to Promote Corporate Responsibility (also posted on the sidebar).  As a result I do agree with the more general claim that one can be a corporate lawyer and serve the public interest - by helping foster business practices that are consistent with principles of human dignity, solidarity and the common good.


Stabile, Susan | Permalink

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