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Winter 2024 Course

Legal Profession

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: In Class
Students are graded on their team presentation (20% of final grade) and an open book, open notes in-class exam (80% of final grade) (format TBD). Grading of the team presentation will be based on substance, creativity and presentation style (based on a combination of individual and team work).

This course examines the organization, operation, and ideology of the legal profession. It has three objectives. First, the course attempts to demonstrate that lawyers are often confronted with difficult ethical decisions. Therefore, students will be encouraged to assess the practical consequences and theoretical justifications for various responses to these ethical questions. Second, the course will examine the changing ways in which legal services are provided and regulated both within and outside the United States and how these changes affect 1) the character and ideology of the legal profession; 2) the organization and operation of legal service providers (including large corporate law firms, public interest practice, corporate legal departments, and alternative legal services); and, 3) the careers of lawyers. Lastly, the course will challenge students to analyze the competing conceptions of lawyers, how lawyers are portrayed in the media, how they brand themselves, what roles they play (or are expected to play) and how they work (independently, collaboratively, and/or globally). Through course materials and one team project, this course will encourage students to think critically about the legal profession, the impact globalization and technology has had on the delivery of legal services, what it means to be a lawyer, and what type of lawyers they want to be.

Note: This course is only available to JD 3Ls and LLM students.