This course will take a practical as well as academic approach to examining the professional obligations of lawyers. We concentrate on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (which serve as the model for the rules of all states except California). We will occasionally compare rules of particular jurisdictions (mainly D.C., New York, and Texas) for illustrative purposes. The course will cover the fundamental issues that new and experienced lawyers frequently face – including formation and termination of the lawyer-client relationship, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and dealings with adversaries, courts, and unrepresented persons, among other issues. Because practicing lawyers (whether they practice in firms or working directly for their clients in businesses, charitable organizations, NGO’s, or government agencies) are governed by and must comply with rules of professional conduct, the course concentrates on how to read and interpret these rules. We will see that the rules are typically not simple verities but rather reflect accommodations of competing and even conflicting principles, which change over time as the practice of law changes. We will seek a sound and useful understanding of the rules and their underlying goals.