Exam Type: Please refer to the Fall 2020 Tentative Exam Schedule
This course will explore the rules and the standards of professional responsibility and legal ethics through the lens of historical and modern examples of the challenges inherent in daily legal practice. We will draw on real world situations that confront lawyers as individuals and as members of larger organizations in a rapidly changing legal market in a variety of settings. We will examine the often competing pressures on lawyers and the standards of ethics that guide legal conduct, including reconciling the duties that lawyers have to their clients, to the courts, and to the bar as a whole. We will consider the ethics of invoking stereotypes and other strategies to advance a client’s legal position, including in high profile trials and other narratives. In contemplating the kind of law you wish to practice and the kind of lawyer you want to be, we will explore issues of professional responsibility that arise as lawyers change jobs and areas of focus, in both the civil and the criminal settings, as plaintiff lawyers and defense lawyers, as criminal prosecutors, and as transactional lawyers. We also will consider lawyers’ professional responsibilities concerning access to justice, and the changing demographics of lawyers and clients. As we navigate each of these topics, we may discuss historical and literary perceptions of lawyers and their roles in society, and how these perceptions may inform your own career paths.
Note: This course is only available to JD 3Ls and LLM students.
Kaufman, Wilkins, Wald & Swisher, Problems in Professional Responsibility for a Changing Profession, Sixth Edition, Carolina Academic Press (2017), ISBN 978-1-61163-893-6
Dzienkowski, Professional Responsibility Standards, Rules, and Statutes, 2020–2021, Abridged Edition, ISBN 978-1-68467-956-0 (Publication Date: 8/24/2020)