What are Ethics? Ethics are a set of behaviours accepted by others as 'the right way to behave'. Often there are sets of formal ethics that members of certain professions must uphold. Lawyers, managers, engineers, doctors... many professions and careers will have strict ethics.
There are also informal ethics - expectations that are so obvious that they are unwritten. An obvious ethic is integrity: often described as 'doing the right thing even when nobody is looking'. Another informal ethic might be doing something for the right reason.
Lawyers have a very strict set of formal ethics and the profession has high expectations of informal ethics. Law firms are also business, and business managers also have ethics they must abide by.
The Lawyers and Conveyancer's Act 2006 provide strong guidance around formal ethics for lawyers. These ethics are stringently upheld by the New Zealand Law Society.
Portia: Part of the Solution
Acting With Ethics
Portia (Ebborn Law) is committed to helping people get access to justice. We do this in a number of ways and assist over 1,000 people a year in many areas of the law.
In 2019 we were the fifth largest provider of legal aid in New Zealand. In addition, we have been this country's biggest family legal aid provider since 2014.
We work extensively with Women's Refuge and a number of other social and community services to ensure pathways to justice are available, using technology where possible.
We give many aspiring young lawyers their first experience in law, with a high standard of training, flexible work hours and other benefits.