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Are Lawyers Inherently Corrupt?

A study on international corruption in the legal systems around the world found that corruption is alive and well. Some findings:

  • Nearly half of all respondents stated corruption was an issue in the legal profession in their own jurisdiction. The proportion was
    even higher – over 70 per cent – in the following regions: CIS, Africa, Latin America and, Baltic States and Eastern Europe.
  • More than a fifth of respondents said they have or may have been approached to act as an agent or middleman in a transaction that could reasonably be suspected to involve international corruption.
  • Nearly a third of respondents said a legal professional they know has been involved in international corruption offenses.
  • Nearly 30 per cent of respondents said they had lost business to corrupt law firms or individuals who have engaged in international bribery and corruption.


Ok, so I admit insinuating that lawyers are inherently corrupt is unfair and superficial, but let’s face it, corruption IS abound in the legal system. Surely, something about getting a J.D. does not automatically make one lose all sense of morality and ethics. Actually, I find this article quite timely as some of my family members and close friends were discussing this matter. My non-lawyer friends and family couldn’t help but to notice that every other attorney they have met has some sort of crooked streak to them.

I think it comes down to power. But is it power that corrupts, or having power gives the means and ability for people to be corrupt? In other words, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Or maybe there is something in that J.D……

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