Professor Rebecca Roiphe Appointed AALS–ABA Liaison on Ethics

Professor Rebecca Roiphe has been named the liaison between two national organizations—the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) and the American Bar Association (ABA)—on matters of ethics and professional responsibility.

Professor Rebecca Roiphe

In the role, Professor Roiphe will join the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, where she will help draft and review ABA opinions on timely ethical issues, drawing on her academic background.

The Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility first issued national ethics standards for lawyers and judges in 1908. Since then, the Committee has issued written opinions that interpret how the ethics standards apply to novel and sometimes controversial issues. Recent topics have addressed questions about email confidentiality and social media. Published opinions appear on the ABA’s website, in law journals, and in legal databases, such as LexisNexis and Westlaw. Lawyers from every U.S. jurisdiction routinely consult them.

Professor Roiphe is the Committee’s only AALS liaison. (Most other members are full-time practicing attorneys.)

“As a branch between academia and the profession, I get to translate my scholarly background into addressing real-world questions lawyers are confronting,” Professor Roiphe says. “Having that unique opportunity is very exciting to me.”

Professor Roiphe was nominated for the role by other members of the Committee. She will join monthly Committee calls to discuss draft opinions and will attend semi-annual ABA meetings, including an all-day meeting on October 28 in Chicago. The role was previously held by Professor Carol A. Needham of St. Louis University School of Law.

Professor Roiphe is Co-Dean for Faculty Scholarship and teaches courses on criminal procedure, legal history, and professional responsibility. Her scholarship primarily focuses on professional ethics for lawyers and the role of prosecutors within the democratic state. She is frequently cited in the national media on issues of prosecutorial independence, a topic that has gained increasing attention during the Trump administration. In August, she authored the article, “A History of Prosecutorial Independence in America,” published on the American Constitution Society’s blog.