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Spring 2024 Course

Legal Profession: Understanding the Plaintiff’s Attorney

Prerequisites: None

Exam Type: One-Day Take-Home

This course will examine the rules of professional conduct and the values and responsibilities of the legal profession and its members through the lens of the plaintiff’s attorney. A significant set of the norms governing the legal profession apply primarily to plaintiff’s attorneys – rules about advertising, solicitation, investing money in another’s lawsuit (champerty) and contingent fees, for example – while general rules about conflicts of interest and confidentiality have special application when a lawyer represents a plaintiff, or multiple plaintiffs, a class of plaintiffs in a class action, or even a group of cases in a multidistrict litigation (MDLs). These issues are of special interest to students considering a career as a plaintiff’s lawyer (at a firm or public interest group). But they also are important for students more likely to work at defense-oriented firms, as comprehending the incentives of plaintiff’s lawyers, and how the rules of professional conduct structure their behavior, are important components in providing adequate representation to a corporation or other defendant. The course will examine the rules governing a plaintiff’s practice sequentially, from the hunt for clients through judgment or settlement, and then will encompass case studies of a variety of plaintiff’s firms, including local tort firms, national and mass tort firms, class action firms, and litigation funders.

Note: This course is primarily available to JD 3Ls and LLM students. Seats will open to all students if space provides.

The use of laptops, iPhones, and similar devices will not be permitted during class.