Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law

First Page



This Article explores whether global self-regulation of the legal profession is desirable. The Author explains that as global law practice has grown over the past decade, so has the desire to formulate global rules of professional responsibility. The Article focuses on large law firms offering transnational legal services in many countries. The Author addresses whether and for whom the aspiration to deliver core values at the global level is desirable. He does so by comparing the rhetoric of global self-regulation with the reality of global law practice. In reality, the global law practice has undermined the power of nation states because large law firm clients are powerful enough to manipulate nation states; lawyers are not capable of independent professional judgment because competition for profits puts loyalty to clients at a premium; and lawyers are capable of manipulating the rule of law to their clients' advantage. The Author concludes that global rules of professional responsibility based on core values will add value to private clients, but they will add little to the public interest.