An introduction to professional issues that concern lawyers throughout their careers. The course asks students to confront the question of what it means to be a member of a profession, and to develop a sense of responsibility for career-long personal engagement with the moral challenges and responsibilities of being a good lawyer. It examines two major aspects of the American legal profession: (1) its structure, including the variety of settings in which law is practiced (private, public sector, and public interest), the various practice specialties, the institutions that regulate professional conduct (bar associations, disciplinary and ethics committees, and courts), and career options available for lawyers; and (2) the standards and procedures for membership in the profession, including requirements for admission to the bar, rules governing professional behavior, and exclusion or disbarment. Students consider rules that set standards of conduct (the Rules and Codes of Professional Responsibility adopted by the states, practice rules adopted by the state and federal courts, pro bono and continuing legal education requirements, and special rules governing client trust funds, sanctions for inappropriate behavior, lawyer malpractice, and lawyer civility).
This upper-level substantive course provides an introduction to professional and ethical issues that concern lawyers throughout their careers. This course is part of the Core Curriculum. All students must complete this course (or the Criminal Practice version) during their 2L year. Materials covered in this course are tested on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) and New York Law Exam (NYLE).
Approved for the Professional Responsibility Requirement.