Professor Clark's section: This will for the most part be a traditional course in legal ethics and professional responsibility. We will focus on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, along with other sources of law governing lawyers. Our primary aim will be to identify and analyze ethical issues that arise in the practice of law, including: confidentiality, competence, conflicts of interest, lawyer advertising, multi-jurisdictional practice, litigation ethics, negotiation ethics, and issues arising in the representation of entities. In the process, we will also consider broader questions about what sort of lawyers we want to be and how that might fit into our lives. Those broader questions, valuable for their own sake, will also help us think more clearly about the pragmatic principles and rules we need to know as we prepare to practice law.
Professor Hirshon's section: This course trains students to recognize those ethical dilemmas they will most likely encounter in their practices. The primary focus of the course will be on the private practice of law.
During my thirty years of practice and 13 years of law firm management, I witnessed a lot of behavior. Not all of it was good and not all of it comported with the applicable rules of professional conduct. Students will discuss these "situations" and hopefully learn a bit about themselves. Additionally, students will learn how the model rules are enacted, enforced and sometimes broken ... and the concomitant consequences. The main objectives of the course are to help students identify conduct that might amount to violations of ethical rules and to create a forum for discussion of the type of ethical issues lawyers confront. Guest lecturers will provide their insights into the ethical practice of law. Furthermore, the class, depending upon its size, will engage in role playing and the analysis of films and advertising clips.
Professor Niehoff's section: This course seeks to help you identify, analyze, and think critically about the legal ethics issues that arise in the practice of law. We begin with a discussion of normative ethics and legal ethics generally, and then move to more specific issues like competency, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, representing individuals with diminished capacity, representing entities, litigation ethics, negotiation ethics, ethical issues that arise in specific career settings like law firms and prosecutors' offices, lawyer advertising, and pro bono. We also discuss enforcement mechanisms like disciplinary bodies and malpractice actions. The class typically includes some small group role-playing exercises, the use of film clips, and guest lecturers.