Debates about our moral relation to the law typically focus on the moral force of law. Often, the question asked is: Do we have a moral duty to follow the law? Recently, that question has been given a virtue-ethical formulation: Is there a virtue in abiding by the law? This paper considers our moral relation to the law in terms of virtue but focuses on a different question from the traditional ones. The question here is: Can the law model virtue in beneficial ways that enable us to cultivate virtue? This paper shows that the law can do this by setting a moral example that we have good reason to emulate. This is significant given the distinctive influence the law has over our lives. The paper begins by examining the nature of a model, comparing different models of virtue, and then questions the possibility of a complete model of virtue such as the so-called Virtuous Person. The paper then articulates several ways in which the law can model virtue for us and responds to three objections: 1) the embodiment problem, 2) the poisoning problem, and 3) the emulation problem.
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