Method of final grading will be determined by professor. See final examination schedule.
Power of courts over the legal profession, admission to practice, lawyer discipline, peer regulation, law firms, lawyer-client relationship, withdrawal, fees, division of fees, confidentiality, conflict of interest, competence and diligence, legal malpractice, limiting liability, raising claims and defenses, ethics in presenting evidence, fraud, perjury, duty to court and adverse parties, role of lawyer as advisor, intermediary, negotiator and mediator, preservation of client’s funds and property, duty to use I.O.L.T.A. account, advertising and solicitation, contact with unrepresented persons and public service. Judicial ethics will be referred to only briefly in class. Students are expected to actively participate in the class discussion. The Model Rules of Professional Conduct will be the primary source, but reference will also be made to differences in the Massachusetts Rules, the Code of Professional Responsibility and common law principles.
Faculty comments: Professor Clark: The primary methodology of instruction is through the use of video, presenting hypothetical ethical dilemmas. The Model Rules are emphasized in accordance with the requirements of the MPRE. Class participation is encouraged but not included in the final grade. The final exam is a take-home distributed in the second to last class for submission in the last class. One outside reading on the legal profession is required.
Professor Ortwein: This course should not be viewed primarily as a preparation course for the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE). However, you will be exposed to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and this will be helpful as you prepare for that exam. The primary objectives of the course are to explore what it means to be a member of the legal profession, assist you in developing a practical personal understanding of what it means to be a lawyer and what responsibilities and obligations may be required of you in that capacity, explore how you fit the expectations of the profession, and offer you an opportunity to reflect on how you will incorporate your own values, integrity and personal life into the professional role you will soon assume. The class is designed to create an appropriate forum to present you with opportunities to discuss an array of the type of ethical issues that you may confront as a lawyer and the resources available to assist you in resolving these issues. Of course, the appropriate ABA and local rules (i.e. Massachusetts Rules) of professional conduct will provide a focal point for these discussions and our analysis. One of the ways that I hope to stimulate your thoughts about what it means to be a lawyer is to bring into our class a variety of guest practicing lawyers who will provide you an opportunity to listen and observe how they view their role as member of the legal profession and how they have incorporated their personal beliefs into that role. These “guests” will also demonstrate the variety of opportunities that exist in the practice of law and the obstacles that must be endured to succeed. Of course they will also offer their input on resolving specific ethical dilemmas they have encountered in the practice of law.
Professor Perlman: This class focuses on the law governing lawyers, which includes (but is not limited to) the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Topics include the duty of confidentiality, the attorney-client privilege, the work product doctrine, the no-contact rule, fees, conflicts of interest, advertising, the duty to report misconduct, and various issues concerning the changing nature of the legal profession. In addition to exposing you to these and other doctrines, one important goal of the course is to encourage you to think about the role of a lawyer in an adversarial system and whether there are – or should be – limits on a lawyer’s zeal on behalf of a client.
The exam consists of both an essay and a multiple choice component and is typically closed book. Extra credit is given for class participation. Please note that this class has a “no internet” policy. This means that, although you are permitted to bring a laptop to class, you are not permitted to surf the internet, send or receive emails and instant messages, or engage in any other internet-related activities during class time. At the beginning of the course, I will ask you to sign a declaration indicating that you will abide by this policy.
Professor Shin: This course examines the legal and ethical responsibilities of lawyers with respect to clients, third parties, courts, and society at large. The dual objectives of the course are to study the governing standards of professional conduct and to explore the modern conceptions of the lawyer’s role expressed by those standards. The predominant focus of the course will be on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The required textbook is organized around a series of hypothetical "Problems" instead of opinions from reported cases. Classes will involve volunteer-based discussion of these Problems as well as lecture. Course grade will be based on an open-book, take-home final examination and class participation.
| Prerequisite: REQUIRED COURSE
Home Exam Required
<<Course Updated: April 01, 2013>>