Comparative Legal Ethics Research

 ***THIS is an ARCHIVED guide. It may contain BROKEN links. Its value is HISTORICAL only.***

Current Research Guides 

©2003, 2005 Dorie Bertram, Director of Public Services and Lecturer in Law, Washington University School of Law Library, Room 455G, 935-6484, 
Prepared for Professor Peter Joy's Comparative Legal Ethics Seminar (Spring 2003)

I. Introduction

Comparative Legal ethics is a challenging legal research topic.  Availability of material will vary from country to country.  This guide will help you organize your research and more easily locate sources. Please do not hesitate to ask for my help or help from any of the Reference Librarians.

Technical Note: Some of the links in this research guide will only be active when launched from a computer within the Washington University School of Law.

II. Getting Your Bearings

Detailed research information on U.S. legal ethics research can by found in Hyla Bondareff's "Legal Ethics Research Guide" 

Guides to Foreign & Internationl Legal Research 


These are the two major foreign & international legal research guide books.

  • Guide to International Legal Research, 2004. The George Washington University Law School International Law Review. [Reserve K85 .G85 2004]
  • Germain's Transnational Law Research: A Guide for Attorneys. Claire M. Germain. Looseleaf. [Reserve K85 .G47]


There are many, many foreign & international research guides and Web portals.  The following are a few of the best that are out there.

Brief Introductions to Foreign Legal Systems
It is useful to first gain an understanding of the legal system of the country that you are studying.


  • Martindale Hubble International Law Digest.  Annual. [Reserve KF190 .M353]
  • Modern Legal Systems Cyclopedia.  Looseleaf. [Law LC Collection K530 .M62]
    Looseleaf Updates are received irregularly: some regions of the World are more current than others.

Books: Cross Border Practice of Law 

  • Law Without Frontiers: A Comparative Survey of the Rules of Professional Ethics Applicable to the Cross-Border Practice of Law. ed. Edwin Godfrey. 1995 [Reserve K123 .L39 1995]
  • International Trade in Legal Services: Regulation of Lawyers and Firms in Global Practice. Sydney M. Cone, III. 1996. [Reserve K118 .F6 C66 1996]

Books: Foreign/International Legal Ethics 

  • Right's Liability, and Ethics in International Legal Practice. ed. Mary C. Daly and Roger J. Goebel. 1994. [Reserve K120 .R54 1994]

Is There a Code of Ethics for Your Jurisdiction? 

Martindale Hubble International Law Digest.  Annual. [Reserve KF190 .M353] 
and on LexisNexis: Legal > Legal (excluding U.S.) > Multinational Publications > Law Digests > Martindale-Hubbell(R) International Law Digest 

The International Law Digest has information on ethics codes for many (but not all) jurisdictions.  This is a good place to start to find out the title(s) of a country's ethics code(s).  Find the entry for your country and then look for the "Legal Profession" section.


Ethics Code
Code of Conduct
Legal Ethics
Legal Profession
Law of Lawyering
Practice of Law
Professional Conduct
Regulation of the Bar
Self Regulation
Cross-Border Legal Practice
[Name of Country in English]
[Name of Country in the Language of that Country]
[Word for Lawyer in Language Spoken in Your Country]
Specific Ethical Issues
e.g.: Confidentiality
Attorney-Client Privilege

III. Foreign & International Bar Associations

HierosGamos "Worldwide Bar Associations" links  

Council of the Bars and Law Societies of the European Union (CCBE) 

IV. Selected Web Resources

V. Articles

Like the one good case method, you can use the "one good article" method in two ways

  1. Find one good article (either in a full text database or by a keyword search in an online periodical index).  Then, in the periodical index, follow the subject headings that have been assigned to that article.
  2. Find one good article, and then run it through a citator (Shepards, KeyCite, Web of Science) and find sources that have  cited that article.

Most current (unbound) journals owned by the Law Library are kept on Reserve. Bound periodicals are generally shelved alphabetically by title on the 5th floor.  If you don't find the journal there, please check the online catalog as a limited number of journals are in the Law LC Collection and have a call number.


If you are looking for articles published prior to 1980, you will need to use the paper edition of Index to Legal Periodicals (Reading Room KF9 .N32).

You may also search the same indexes on Lexis & Westlaw.  Note that on these two services, LegalTrac is called Legal Resource Index.  

Foreign & International 

Both Domestic & Foreign 

Interdisciplinary Databases Available Through Olin Library's Portal 

Articles contained in journals or newspapers not available on the WU Hilltop campus may be available via Interlibrary Loan.

VI. Books: Search Online Catalogs

You can use the same "one good article method" described above with book research.

Use online catalogs to find books or journal titles (but not specific journal articles). 

  1. First check the Law Library and WU Hilltop Libraries' catalogs.
  2. For more materials, check the Mobius Catalog
  3. WorldCat is a database of the books and journals owned by thousands of libraries, mostly U.S., but also many foreign libraries. 

Remember, to obtain materials not available on campus or via Mobius, you will need to request the item via Interlibrary Loan. Please use the online form at /library/pages.aspx?id=1138). Do not use the link in WorldCat. If you cannot find a book with any of these sources, stop by the Reference Desk or visit one of us in our office.

VII. Citation Indexes

You all should be familiar with Shepard's on Lexis and Keycite on Westlaw.   Although Law was the first discipline to utilized citation indexing, the idea was a good one and there are three major non-law citation indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Science Citation Index, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index.  You can access these citators online through the "Web of Science" which can be accessed through the Law Library's "Research Databases" page.