Law 312 - Professional Responsibility
Tracey G. Parr
J.D. Yale Law School, 2003
Every lawyer in every practice area must understand the lawyer’s professional role and the rules and codes of conduct associated with the legal profession. This course introduces students to the “law of lawyering” and the professional obligations associated with practicing law. We will explore the nature of ethics and how the legal profession is (and should be) regulated. Utilizing the course textbook and other assigned readings, we will discuss the duties lawyers owe to their clients, to other members of the legal profession and to themselves. Specifically the course will focus on the relationship between the attorney and the client(s), the role of the lawyer as an advocate, and the duties of confidentiality, avoiding conflicts of interest and the attorney/client privilege.
This course will also focus on preparing students for responsible leadership and service in the many roles that lawyers perform both in and out of legal practice. Students will be introduced to the basic principles of leadership and ethics in the legal profession, including law firm/agency structures, ethical decision-making, diversity and equity concerns, and ethically providing access to legal services.
The primary goal of this course is to educate our future lawyers on best practices in ethics and professional responsibility as they enter the legal profession. Therefore, in this course students will:
1. Identify and understand pertinent rules of professional responsibility with an emphasis on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
2. Reflect critically on their own ethics and leadership style and engage in readings, discussions and exercises to further develop their knowledge of the professional responsibilities of a lawyer.
3. Have an understanding and appreciation of those concepts tested on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) and the state bar exam.
4. Identify and understand issues surrounding client needs, client communication, confidentiality, candor toward the courts and other tribunals, and collegiality with opposing counsel and other members of the profession.
Students will be assessed via a take-home final examination, brief reflection papers and class participation.