Course - Law
Instructor
Email
Coteachers:
Units
Prerequisites:

None

 
Recommended Courses:

None

 
Overview
 

Lawyers are professionals.  This is a course about professionalism in the practice of law, and how attorneys can develop and maintain it in the face of today’s pressures, including increased competition.  It is not a course in the formal rules of professional responsibility, although there is considerable overlap involving ethics and professionalism.  This overlap will be explored, along with the enduring core values essential to the legal profession. 

 

This course also serves as a way to prepare students for the transition from law school to law practice, by attempting to address some of the real-life situations that will likely face new attorneys.  It has been suggested by past students that the course should be subtitled “What they never told me in my other law school classes.” 

 

The course will address, among other things, professionalism issues that arise in the context of the lawyer's relationships with clients, judges, opposing counsel, co-counsel, the public, court staff, and support staff.  Guest speakers from the legal profession and the judicial branch will be invited from time to time to address the class. 

 

A sampling of the subjects to be covered includes:

 

Professionalism vs. Ethics

The overlap

The distinctions

 

Civility and courtesy vs. strategy and tactics

The tensions

The meaning and role of advocacy

The purging of "zealous advocacy"

Discovery abuse and other unhappy practices

 

Core values of the profession

Competence in an increasingly complex field

Loyalty

Truth

Integrity

Honor

Judgment

Honesty

 

Lying by lawyers

Its causes

Its consequences

Solutions

 

Traditional roles of the lawyer

Counselor

Advocate

Statesman

Citizen

Officer of the Court

 

Public Perception

Its origins

Solutions

 

Professionalism vs. money

Are they mutually exclusive?

Pro bono service

 

Transactional lawyers vs. litigators

Different standards?

Different behaviors?

 

Costs of unprofessionalism

To the profession

To the justice system

To the public

To the client

To civilized society

To the individual lawyer

 

 
Materials

Text and materials compiled by professor, including law review and journal articles on professionalism.

 
Course Format

Lecture and discussion. This course will require attendance at each class and active student participation. The class will involve extensive use of hypotheticals raising the subjects mentioned in the course overview.

 
Written Assignments

TBA

 
Type of Exam

TBA

 
Basis for grading

Class participation and paper.

 
Additional Comments  
Print this Course Description