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LAW When Bad Things are Done by Good People

Public Interest Law: Non-Profits

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Public Interest Law
Non-Profits

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LAW 681J

When Bad Things are Done by Good People

Law School

Recommended for route(s):

[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] [ Transactional ] Public Interest Law: Non-Profits

Why it is relevant for ...

[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] [ Transactional ] as a Related Elective for those interested in Ethics : Whatever your career orientation, this course about ethical choices should be useful and thought-provoking. It provides a powerful examination of moral failures by people who generally try to lead good lives, considering the power of institutions and authority in affecting these ethical choices.

General course Description:

Some people live their lives in a manner that would lead few to declare them good people. From Tony Soprano to Saddam Hussein to Bernie Madoff, we are all familiar with individuals who have made crime and violence a constant in their lives. There are far more people, though, who try generally to live good lives, but find themselves having acted or having failed to act in ways that are widely condemned as evil. Over the course of our five meetings, we will be looking (through some books, reports and films) at case studies of such circumstances, ranging from clergy and others in authority who covered up evidence of sexual abuse, prosecutors who ignored evidence of wrongful convictions, lawyers who turned blind eyes to client misconduct, and soldiers who committed acts they would have once found unimaginable. We will also look at a contrasting case study of individuals who resisted great pressure and kept their moral compasses well-calibrated. Throughout our inquiry, we will reflect in particular on the power of institutions and authority in affecting ethical mores.

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