Rawls’ “original position” and the values general counsel should support

John Rawls, one of the foremost American philosophers, urges us to think about justice from a standpoint he calls the original position. As explained in Susan Neiman’s Moral Clarity: A Guide for Grownup Idealists (Harcourt 2008) at 212, the original position asks you, “How would you design a society if you didn’t know who you would turn out to be in it?”.

A general counsel of a like philosophical bent might thoughtfully ask, “How would I design my law department if I didn’t know who in it I would be?”

Since the general counsel might be reincarnated as a file clerk, that perspective should encourage open communication, merit-based promotions and assignments of responsibility, tolerance, encouragement of everyone to develop their highest and best capabilities, equity and fairness, and supportiveness.

Would that it were true.

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