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Legal Ethics

This course introduces students to the goals, rules and responsibilities of the American legal profession and its members. The course is designed around the premise that the subject of professional responsibility is the single most relevant to students' future careers as members of the bar. These issues come up on a constant basis and it is critical that lawyers be alert to spotting them when they arise and be educated in the methods of resolving them. As such, the course will address many of the most commonly recurring issues that arise, such as confidentiality, conflicts of interest, candor to the courts and others, the role of the attorney as counselor, the structure of the attorney-client relationship, issues around billing, the tension between "cause lawyering" and individual representation, and lawyers' duty to serve the underrepresented. In addition, we will delve into some more personal ethical issues that reflect on why students have chosen law as a profession and how lawyers compose careers that promote or frustrate those goals. A written problem will be distributed during each week of the Quarter. During the course of the Quarter, each student is responsible for submitting a series of written memos (three-to-five pages each) analyzing and resolving five of these problems. Each memo will be due two weeks after the problem is distributed. (Thus, by the end of the course, each student will have written on his or her choice of five of the nine problems distributed.) Special Instructions: Grades will be based on the memos submitted, with the instructor retaining the right to take class participation into account. Attendance is mandatory. Elements used in grading: Class participation, attendance and written assignments.


Instructors for this course (Past and Present)

Lawrence C. Marshall