Legal Profession: Economics and Management of Pro Bono Practice
This seminar focuses on the public service obligation of the legal profession, and how that obligation is carried out in law firms and other legal institutions, such as corporate counsel departments, law schools, legal media, bar associations and non-profit legal services organizations. While the seminar is open to any student interested in issues concerning the legal profession and professional responsibility, it is of particular interest to 2Ls and 3Ls who plan to work at major firms after graduation and who are committed to undertaking public interest service while at the firm. The course first examines the structure and economics of the modern large law firm through a review of the literature, class discussion, and presentations by managing partners at major firms. The seminar also focuses on the nature of the lawyer's public interest obligations and how that obligation impacts major legal employers. Through role-playing, the course also examines ethical and other issues presented by pro bono practice at large law firms. Based on the knowledge gained from class discussions and readings, each student will develop a pro bono business plan designed either to increase the amount of pro bono service undertaken at his or her future firm or to gain support for and implement a new pro bono project at the firm.