Donald Langevoort recently posted his worthwhile paper, “Getting (Too) Comfortable: In-House Lawyers, Enterprise Risk and the Financial Crisis” on SSRN. Here’s the abstract.
In-house lawyers are under considerable pressure to “get comfortable” with the legality and legitimacy of client goals. This paper explores the psychological forces at work when inside lawyers confront such pressure by reference to the recent financial crisis, looking at problems arising from informational ambiguity, imperceptible change, and motivated inference. It also considers the pathways to power in-house, i.e., what kinds of cognitive styles are best suited to rise in highly competitive organizations such as financial services firms. The paper concludes with a research agenda for better understanding in-house lawyers, including exploration of the extent to which the diffusion of language and norms has reversed direction in recent years: that outside lawyers are taking cognitive and behavioral cues from the insiders, rather than establishing the standards and vocabulary for in-house lawyers.
Download the paper for free here.
Related Situationist posts:
- The Situation of Lawyers’ Complicity,
- Gatekeepers Inside Out – Abstract,
- The Situation of Lawyers and Practicing Law,
- Law, Chicken Sexing, Torture Memo, and Situation Sense,
- “Why Do Lawyers Acquiesce In Their Clients’ Misconduct?, Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV,
- The Illusion of Wall Street Reform,
- On the Ethical Obligations of Lawyers: Are We Snakes? Are We Supposed to Be?.”
- The Situation of Legal Ethics
- How Situational Self-Schemas Influence Disposition,
- The Situation of John Yoo and the Torture Memos, and
- The Affective Situation of Ethics and Mediation.