Written by Maaike Roet – CEO & Founder House

The year 2024 seems to be (among other things) the year of ‘moral ambition’. Moral ambition means something like ‘acting on the basis of personal integrity and using your talent for something for which you want to be remembered later’. Now that this trend also fits in with House’s mission with ‘legal for tomorrow’ and we think it is important to also include corporate lawyers, this blog is published today.


Social examples

Striking social examples of moral ambition are lawyer Bénédicte Ficq, who is suing directors of large companies for ‘environmental crime’, and journalist Rutger Bregman, who recently called on young talented lawyers and consultants in the Zuidas in the FD not to sell their talent to the highest bidder , but rather to use it to solve social problems. He calls that ‘Moral ambition’ and writes a book about it.


What is moral ambition?

Moral ambition goes beyond simply adhering to the law. It implies a profound awareness of the ethics that underlie the legal system. It is about striving for a higher standard of moral behavior than what is strictly legally required. Corporate lawyers with moral ambition recognize that their role in the company is not only about enforcing rules, but also about – perhaps even with the company – promoting fairness and ethical conduct in society.


Moral ambition in daily work: how?

You may now be thinking: ‘big words and great goals to pursue’, but I’m far too busy for that. Logical, but then I would like to remind you that as a corporate lawyer you also hold a responsible position. In my opinion, that requires some moral ambition. Moreover, it is not only about avoiding unethical behavior, but (and in my opinion much more) about actively pursuing justice and honesty in the (corporate legal) advice you provide. Here are some practical steps you can take today.

1- Integrate ethics into decision making
In any legal matter, it is important to integrate ethical considerations into the decision-making process. Don’t just think about the legal aspects, but also consider the broader ethical implications for all parties involved.

2- Continuous professional development
Keep your knowledge of ethics and professional responsibility up to date. Take courses, read relevant literature and participate in ethical discussions to deepen and broaden your understanding. As part of your professional development, also consider doing volunteer work.

3- Take on a mentor role
For corporate lawyers with more experience, taking on a mentor role is invaluable. Sharing ethical insights and guidance contributes to the development of moral ambition among younger generations of corporate lawyers.



Moral ambition is not an optional extra for corporate lawyers in their daily work. In my opinion – and especially in this day and age – it is a necessary pillar for sustainable and ethical corporate legal work. By embracing moral ambition, corporate lawyers contribute to promoting justice, honesty and integrity. It is not only a professional obligation, but also an opportunity to have a lasting positive impact on society. Legal for tomorrow!