Are personal and legal ethics distinct?

Personal and legal ethics are distinct. Legal ethics may require conduct inconsistent with one's personal ethics, which is the basis for a good deal of the criticism of the legal profession. However, it is understandable, or should be, that there is a distinction between personal and legal ethics. Legal ethics involves obligations owed to clients, third parties, courts and to the profession itself. In that sense one's personal ethics may be simpler to apply as there are fewer variables when one is acting in one's personal capacity than there are when one is acting as a lawyer.