“Behaviour is a mirror in which everyone displays his image” –Goethe
The lawyer stand today in special need of clear understanding of his obligations and a vital connection between that obligation and the role of his profession plays in a society. The lawyer , therefore , should understand, not merely the established standards of professional conduct, but the reasons underlying these standards.
The law is universally described as an honorable profession. An advocate is an officer of justice and friend of the court. The profession of law is looked upon by public as an honorable profession which requires the highest standards and the highest tradition from those who practice it and any conduct which derogates from that high standard are looked upon with disfavor. It is contrary to professional etiquette for an advocate to do or cause or allow to be done anything for the purpose of touting directly or indirectly or which is likely to lead to the reasonable inference that it is done for that purpose.
MEANING OF PROFESSIONAL ETHICS
Professional ethics may be defined as a code of conduct written or unwritten for regulating the behavior of a practicing lawyer towards himself , his client , his adversary in law and towards the court.
Thus , ethics of legal profession means the body of rules and practice which determine the professional conduct of the member of the bar.
Chief Justice Marshall has observed-
‘‘ The fundamental aim of legal ethics is to maintain the honour and dignity of the Law profession, to secure a spirit of friendly cooperation between the bench and the bar in the promotion of highest standard of justice , to establish fair dealings of standards of justice, to establish honour and fair dealing of the counsel with his client opponent and witnesses ; to establish a spirit of brotherhood in the Bar itself; and to secure that Lawyers discharge their responsibilities to the community of generally.’’
Professional ethics in India-
Section 49 (1)(c) of the Advocate Act ,1961, empowers the Bar Council of India to make rules so as to prescribe the standards of professional conduct and etiquette to be observed by the Advocate. In the exercise of the rule-making power under section 49(1)(c) of the Advocate Act ,1961, the bar council of India has made several rules so as to prescribe the standards of professional conduct and etiquette. Chapter II of part VI of the rules framed by the BCI deals with the standards of professional conduct and etiquette.
Four Approaches To Legal Ethics-
There are four main strands of ethical reasoning or consideration available for lawyers ,
- Adversarial advocacy.
- Responsible lawyering.
- Moral activism.
- Ethics of care.
- Adversarial advocacy
- Social role of lawyers – lawyers’ ethics are governed by role as advocate in adversarial legal process and complex legal This advocacy combines the ‘principle of partisanship’ and the principle of nonaccountability’
- Relationship to client – lawyers’ duty is to increase as zealously as possible within the bonds of 
BCI, Rule15,1961 Provides that it is the duty of advocate to uphold the interest of his client fearlessly without regard to any unpleasant consequence to himself or to any other.
- Responsible lawyer –
- Social role of lawyers – The responsible lawyering approach focuses on lawyers’ role as an officer of the court and guardian of the legal system . Lawyers’ ethics governed by role of facilitating the public administration of justice according to law in the public 
- Relationship to client and law- Duties of advocacy are tempered by duty to ensure integrity of and compliance with spirit of the law; to ensure that issues are not decided on purely procedural or formal grounds but substantive
The lawyer is responsible for making law work as fairly and justly as possible. May need to act as a gatekeeper of law and advocate of legal system against client.
As per BCI Rule 3,1961 –No advocate shall influence the decision of the court by any illegal or improper means. It prohibits the private communication with the judges relating to a pending case.
As per BCI Rule 4, 1961– This rule requires the advocate to use his best efforts to restrain and prevent his client from resorting to sharp or unfair practice or from doing anything in relation to the court ,opposing counsel or parties which the advocate himself not to do.
- Moral Activist –
Here lawyer acts as agent for justice through law reforms, public interest lawyering , and client counseling.
- The social role of lawyer– General ethics particularly social and political conceptions of justice, moral philosophy , and promotion of substantive justice defines lawyers’ responsibilities.
- Relation to client and law- lawyer should take advantage of their position to improve justice in two ways;
- Public interest lawyering and law reform activities to improve access to justice and change the law and legal institution to make the law more substantive just (in the public interest).
- Client counseling to seek to persuade client of the moral thing to do or withdraw if a client wants something else.
As per BCI Rule 46, 1961: It provides that every advocate shall in the practice of the profession of the law bear in mind that anyone genuinely in the need of a lawyer is entitled to legal assistance even though he cannot pay for it fully or adequately .
Free legal assistance to the indigent and oppressed is one of the highest obligation ,as an advocate owes to the society.
- Ethics of care-
- 1. The social role of lawyers- Social role of lawyers is irrelevant . responsibilities to people, communities and relationships should guide lawyers (and client) as everybody 
- Relationship to client and law-
- Preserving relationship and avoiding harm are more important than impersonal justice . The value of law , legal institution and institutional roles of lawyers and others are derivative on
- people and relationship are more important than institutions such as law .
- The goal of lawyer-client relationship (like all relationships) should be the moral worth and goodness of both lawyer and client , or at least of nurturing of relationship and 
Evaluation Of these approaches-
Most lawyers are unlikely to talk in terms of ‘adversarial advocacy’, ‘responsible lawyering’, ‘responsible lawyering’, ‘moral activism’, or the ‘ ethics of care’ . Yet we all implicitly act on institutions and personal philosophies of life and lawyering that appeal to the logic in one or more of these four approaches. Because they are also based on applied legal ethics theory, these four ethical approaches have some theoretical coherence and are capable of providing us with the principal set of consideration that we ought to respond to in deciding what to do in any particular situation.
Thus a conclusion can be drawn that Advocacy is a profession , not a business .A professional’s aim should be providing services to the people and not to indulge in the fraudulent activities to earn money. Thus, the main object of the ethics of the legal profession is to maintain the dignity of legal profession and the friendly relation between the Bench and Bar. These four approaches can be seen as option ,that each of us could choose which approach we prefer for the purpose of guiding our own lives as lawyers and for assessing others. Or they could be seen as the tool and ingredient available for creating our own individual dishes, but it is up to each of us to decide what to ‘ cook’ with them.
 Responsibility: Report of the Joint Conference (1958) 44 American Bar Association Journal, 1159.
 Halsbury: Laws of England. 4th Ed. Vol.3,p.602
 Kailash Rai,Legal Ethics p.63.
 Quoted in C.L. Anand, General Principles of Legal Ethics , p. 63.
 Gerald Postema, ‘Moral Responsibility in Professional Ethics’( 1980) 55 New York University Law Review 63; Richard Wasserstrom, ‘Lawyers as Professionals: ‘ Some Mora l Issues’(1975)5 Human Rights 1.
 Christine paeker and Adrian Evans, ‘Inside Lawyers’ Ethics’2011,p.15.
 Christine Paeker and Adrian Evans, ‘Inside Lawyers’ Ethics’2011,p.24
 William Simon, The Practice Of Justice: A Theory of Lawyers’ Ethics (Harvard University Press , Cambridge,Massachusetts,1998)9-11,138-69
 Christine paeker and Adrian Evans, ‘Inside Lawyers’ Ethics’2011,p.28-29.
 Christine paeker and Adrian Evans, ‘Inside Lawyers’ Ethics’2011,p.31
 The Three ways are based on Maughan and Webb,Lawyering Skills,118-120.
 Christine paeker and Adrian Evans, ‘Inside Lawyers’ Ethics’2011,p.37.