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Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

Legal Profession (Spring 2018)

Course Description

This course will cover the basic professional responsibility rules, with special attention to how they are situated in a larger law governing the professional obligations of lawyers. The class will also pay some attention to the fact the professional obligations of lawyers are a matter of role morality. They are special responsibilities and permissions attached to an important social role. One consequence of this is that the moral obligations of lawyers can diverge sharply from the requirements that ordinary morality places on us in our daily lives. This fact gives the duties and dilemmas of professional responsibility their distinctive cast.

Class coverage will include the following topics: the formation of the attorney-client relationship; duties of care, confidentiality, competence and loyalty owed to clients; and the assistance that lawyers are prohibited from providing to clients, in both litigation and transactional settings. The study of these obligations will center on the ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Knowing one’s way around the Model Rules is important both in practice and for purposes of the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam. However, the class will also go beyond the Model Rules to consider other sources of law which figure in the articulation of the obligations and permissions of lawyers. These additional dimensions of a lawyer’s responsibilities are defined in various aspects of agency law, corporate law, tort law, criminal law, constitutional law, and the rules of civil procedure and evidence. Tort law, for example, helps to articulate lawyers’ duties of competence and the rules of evidence help to determine lawyers’ duties of confidentiality.  

Course Details

  • Unit Value: 3
  • Grading Options: Numerical Only
  • Schedule: M/W 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm
  • Room Number: Room 101
  • Exam: In-class exam
  • Writing Requirement: No
  • Skills/Experiential Unit Requirement: no
  • Participation: Points will be awarded
  • Enrollment Limitation: 60 students