Ethics and Law Libraries

Sources from the Bible and Confucius to Shakespeare and Dickens, among countless others, have had negative things to say about lawyers. There is even a term, pettifogger, that means a “lawyer whose methods are petty, underhanded, or disreputable.”  Perhaps beaconSaul Goodman (aka Jimmy McGill), the often shady attorney in the current TV series Better Call Saul comes to mind.

Standing firm in the midst of the stinging criticism of lawyers are law libraries–mighty beacons for the rule of law and ethical conduct.  The tradition of law libraries has been to make our great legal system–and its accompanying ethical directives, such as Justinian’s edict to “[l]ive honestly, hurt no one, and render to every one his due”–available to both professionals and laypeople.  These are guiding principles that serve as the underpinnings of contemporary legal ethics.

Want to learn more about Justinian and other ethical directives that form the fundamental basis of today’s Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct?  For information and resources on the rule of law and legal ethics, visit or contact the Texas Tech University School of Law Library.

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