Legal Professionalism and the Ethical Challenge for Legal Education : Insights from a Comparative Study of Future Lawyers in Greater China

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Richard Wai-Sang Wu
  • Carlos Wing-Hung Lo
  • Ning Liu


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1118-1139
Number of pages22
Journal / PublicationChina Quarterly
Online published28 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


This article uses data gathered from a survey that probed the career orientations and values of more than 1,000 law students in Beijing, Hong Kong and Taipei to examine the legal professionalism of future lawyers being trained under different legal education systems in Greater China. Our findings suggest that these future lawyers have a "materialistic" career orientation, although those studying in a system whose legal education goal is to train professional lawyers are more inclined to pursue professional legal ideals, and those trained in a system that emphasizes legal ethics are more likely to pursue public interest issues. On the basis of the findings, we argue that legal education systems in Greater China, while different in their traditions, share the same need to strengthen legal professionalism by according greater emphasis to legal ethics in their respective law school curricula.

Research Area(s)

  • career orientation, future lawyers, greater China, legal ethics, legal professionalism, 未来律师, 法律专业素养, 法律专业道德, 大中华区