Legal Profession/Professional Responsibility

LAW 611 v30 Advocacy, Client Counseling and Negotiation Skills in Practice Settings

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

Through role plays set in the context of interaction with clients, fact-finding, negotiation, litigation, and transactional work, this Week One simulation course will teach first-year students how ethics issues arise in practice and how lawyers may run afoul of rules that govern professional responsibility. During the course’s four days, students will be involved in one or more of the following matters:

  • A court sanctions hearing relating to allegations of abuses in civil discovery;
  • A disciplinary hearing considering conflict of interest claims against in-house counsel because of her alleged representation of both a university and its president during a criminal investigation;
  • A simulation of interaction with clients and negotiations relating to the sale of a helicopter;
  • A simulation of an internal law firm investigation of alleged associate and partner abuses in billing.

In each of these situations, students, working in teams and in various roles will be assigned responsibility for meeting with clients, fact-finding—reviewing documents and interviewing prospective witnesses, researching pertinent ethics rules, engaging in negotiations, and making arguments either in a court or disciplinary hearing setting. Through these role-playing assignments, students will learn how to analyze rules of professional conduct, engage in fact-finding, and serve as advocates in various settings. Upper-class teaching fellows will serve as clients, potential witnesses, and decision-makers in the disciplinary setting.

Note: This course does NOT meet the J.D. Professional Responsibility graduation requirement. For a list of the PR series courses, please see the Legal Profession/Professional Responsibility cluster essay.

This course is mandatory pass/fail, and does NOT count against the 7-credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This optional, elective course is for first-year J.D. students only, who will enroll via the Live Registration process.

ATTENDANCE AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety. For more information, please see the Week One website.

Due to the intensive nature of the course, the small-group, team, and individual work that is involved, and the preparation that is necessary to ensure a positive student experience, students who wish to drop the course after they have accepted a seat must drop by Monday, November 28, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. After that point, students must receive permission from both the course professor and Assistant Dean for Experiential Education to drop the course. Permission will only be granted when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship for the student. Students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class session will be withdrawn from the course.

LAW 361 v20 American Legal Profession

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

This course combines material covered in the two-hour Professional Responsibility course with a broader examination of the legal profession. In addition to the law of lawyering (including the Model Rules of Professional Conduct), the course includes material on the moral underpinnings of law practice, the structure and regulation of the legal profession, and the distribution of legal services. The course uses problems and case studies to enable students to identify ethics issues as they arise in different practice areas, including private practice, government lawyering, criminal defense and prosecution, and public interest practice.

LAW 504 v01 Appellate Courts Immersion Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 12 credit hours

Please see the Appellate Courts Immersion Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Appellate Courts Immersion Clinic PDF.

For more information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the Appellate Practice Seminar. Students in this clinic may not concurrently enroll in another class, clinic, externship or practicum.

LAW 504 v00 Appellate Litigation Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 9 credit hours

Please see the Appellate Litigation Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Appellate Litigation Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and the Appellate Practice Seminar.

Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 500 v00 Center for Applied Legal Studies

J.D. Clinic | 10 credit hours

See the Center for Applied Legal Studies website for more detailed information about the clinic.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Center for Applied Legal Studies PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 528 v02 Civil Rights Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 12 credit hours

Please see the Civil Rights Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Civil Rights PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 528 v01 Communications and Technology Law Clinic (IPR)

J.D. Clinic | 12 credit hours

Please see the Communications and Technology Law Clinic (IPR) website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Communications and Technology Law Clinic (IPR) PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 118 v00 Counseling the Corporation in Crisis

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course will explore the multifaceted problems facing corporate lawyers, both inside counsel and law firms, in advising a public company and especially the board of directors in times of extreme stress. It will be taught through a series of classes which first review the basic legal principles (corporate law, fiduciary duty and professional ethics) and then require the students to apply them in a series of "moot board of directors' meetings." Students will be given a corporate crisis and asked to make a written and oral presentation to a board of directors. The board will be composed of the professor, other practicing lawyers or business people and other students. Grading will be based 80% on the final oral presentation and final 15-page memorandum to the Board of Directors and 20% on class participation throughout the semester. Guest speakers will include general counsels of several large public companies.

Recommended: Corporations, Evidence, and Federal White Collar Crime are strongly recommended.

LAW 512 v01 Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 14 credit hours

Please see the Criminal Defense & Prisoner Advocacy Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Criminal Defense and Prisoner Advocacy Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course. 

LAW 512 v00 Criminal Justice Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 14 credit hours

Please see the Criminal Justice Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Criminal Justice Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course. 

LAW 518 v00 Domestic Violence Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 10 credit hours

Please see the Domestic Violence Clinic website for more information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Domestic Violence Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 528 v03 Environmental Law and Justice Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 12 credit hours

Please see the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Environmental Law and Justice Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 2042 v01 Ethics in Tax Law

LL.M Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

This course provides students with an opportunity to consider and address the ethical issues that attorneys frequently encounter in different kinds of modern-day tax practice, either tax planning or controversy. Such contemporary issues relate to conflicts of interest, evidentiary privileges and confidentiality duties, tax return preparer penalties, tax opinion standards, tax shelters, federal-court petitions for injunctive relief and for review under the Administrative Procedure Act, and rules governing disciplinary proceedings. To help students to grapple with these issues, both individually and in collaboration with fellow students, this course will provide a legal framework and tools to analyze and address the tax lawyer's legal and professional obligations under the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct, as adopted by state disciplinary authorities, Treasury Department Circular No. 230 (the regulations governing practice before the Internal Revenue Service), and the Internal Revenue Code’s penalty provisions.

Prerequisite: Federal Income Taxation.

Note: NOTE FOR SUMMER 2022: The professor will teach this course virtually via Zoom.

This is a distance-learning section. Students enrolled in the Executive LL.M. in Taxation, the Executive LL.M. in Securities & Financial Regulation, the MSL program, and the certificate in State and Local Taxation may take this course on a distance basis. All J.D. students and resident LL.M. students may not enroll in this course on a distance basis. 

LAW 530 v00 Federal Legislation Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 10 credit hours

Please see the Federal Legislation Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Federal Legislation PDF.

For information about clinic registration, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 552 v01 Housing Advocacy Litigation Clinic at Rising for Justice, Law Students in Court Division

J.D. Clinic | 7 credit hours

Please see the Rising for Justice (Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic) website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Rising for Justice (Housing Advocacy and Litigation Clinic) PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 880 v00 International White Collar Crime

LL.M Course | 2 credit hours

This course examines key issues arising from the criminalization of transnational business conduct and attempts to enforce national laws extraterritorially, as well as how to counsel clients to comply with inconsistent or conflicting legal regimes. Topics covered will include: bribery of foreign officials, crime on the internet, economic embargoes and export and reexport controls, securities fraud, money laundering, and price-fixing. Attention will be paid to foreign governmental opposition to U.S. assertions of jurisdiction via "blocking" statutes, secrecy laws, and use of local court injunctions, as well as to mechanisms for resolving jurisdictional conflicts, including international agreements for notification, consultation, mutual legal assistance, "positive comity," and exchanges of confidential information among enforcement authorities. The course will also focus extensively on compliance and ethics issues and on techniques for dealing with government law enforcement agencies.

Recommended: International Law I: Introduction to International Law (or the equivalent of International Law I, which is a 3 credit course in public international law).

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not receive credit for both this course and International Economic Crime and Corruption.

Note: Please note, the two sections of this course have different requirements. Please be sure to register for CRN 13649 if you wish to elect the section with a final exam and CRN 24229 if you wish to elect the section requiring a paper. The cutoff date to select either an exam or paper requirement is Tuesday, September 7, 2021.

LAW 520 v00 International Women's Human Rights Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 10 credit hours

Please see the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the International Women’s Human Rights Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 532 v02 Juvenile Justice Clinic

J.D. Clinic | 9 or 14 credit hours

Please see the Juvenile Justice Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Juvenile Justice Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course in the first semester. 

LAW 135 v01 Law Firm Economics and the Public Interest: Advancing the Commitment to Pro Bono Publico through Law Firms and Other Legal Institutions

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

The point of this course is to provide the tools and some of the experience of working in or with a large law firm pro bono practice. We do this through three primary means: lecture (not just from the professors, but also from law firm and legal services leaders in the community); reading current materials on pro bono and the state of the legal market; and role-playing, using our mock law firm, Zimmerman Strasburg & Scherzer. Each student will have a specific role in that fictional law firm, and we will provide access to more firm financial information than you will likely have at any other firm when you start (and certainly more than you would ever have from the outside). Alas, it is fictional – but trust us, it is realistic.

To understand how pro bono works in a large law firm, you first need to be familiar with how a large law firm itself works, both internally and in the market. The beginning of this course focuses on what we broadly call “law firm economics,” but just as well could be called “operations” or “management” or “finance.” We want you to understand these subjects so that you can answer this question – and then argue or defend the answer in the future: how is it that the Top 100 revenue-producing law firms in the United States contribute, on average, about 60 hours of free legal services per attorney each year? What does the donation of 1½ weeks of productivity do to the firm’s bottom line?

Then we will focus on the how and why of pro bono practice. Where did this impulse to provide free legal services come from? How do law firms decide which matters to take, and which to decline? There is a vigorous debate in the law firm pro bono community about “what counts” as pro bono work – there is even a small treatise with that very name (included in the reading materials). Beyond the issue of qualification, how do law firms determine their pro bono priorities? How does pro bono fit within larger law firm management goals?

We will also explore pro bono from other points of view: public interest providers, law schools, corporate in-house counsel and the media. What role do these organizations play in the provision of pro bono legal services, and how do they interact with large law firm pro bono practices?

Note: WEEK ONE COURSE. This seminar will meet for one week only on the following days: Monday, January 9, 2023, through Thursday, January 12, 2023, 6:00 p.m. - 9:20 p.m. This course is mandatory pass/fail and will not count toward the 7 credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS. Enrolled students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain enrolled. Waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to remain eligible to be admitted off the waitlist. All enrolled students must attend each class session in its entirety. Failure to attend the first class session in its entirety will result in a drop; failure to attend any subsequent class session in its entirety may result in a withdrawal.

Enrolled students will have until the beginning of the second class session to request a drop by contacting the Office of the Registrar; a student who no longer wishes to remain enrolled after the second class session begins will not be permitted to drop the class but may request a withdrawal from an academic advisor in the Office of Academic Affairs. Withdrawals are permitted up until the last class for this specific course.

LAW 361 v22 Lawyers' Ethics

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course will examine critically the law governing lawyers' ethics. The course will address the role of the lawyer in an adversary system, professional ethics and personal morality, the allocation of decision-making between lawyer and client, zealous representation, lawyer-client trust and confidence, conflicts of interest, preparing and examining witnesses, client perjury, prosecutors' ethics, judicial ethics, solicitation of clients, and the ethics of torture. Readings will include the rules and standards of professional conduct, case law, legal scholarship, and anecdotal materials. Class discussion will be based on these materials as well as excerpts from film and television. This course will be of special interest to those interested in criminal law, public interest law, and litigation generally.

Please note: This is not a preparation course for the MPRE. Many of the ABA's Model Rules of Professional Conduct will be assigned, and you will be expected to have a working familiarity with them. However, the Model Rules will not be the focus of the course except in the context of broader discussions of lawyers' professional conduct in an adversary system. The emphasis of the class will be principally, but not exclusively, on litigation in the criminal context. Although differing ethical views will be discussed, the instructor will emphasize a client-centered view of lawyers’ ethics, rooted in the Bill of Rights. The examination will be closed-book.

LAW 1657 v00 Ownership, Leadership, and Teams

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This course is designed to provide Business Law Scholar students with an understanding of how to own and develop their careers, engage on teams in an effective manner, and develop leadership skills that will accelerate their careers.  Team-based consulting projects are a key aspect of the course, allowing students to contribute to the Law Center’s strategic planning while building their project management and team skills.  Students will read case studies, articles, and book chapters that will contribute to the development of their strategic thinking skills and personal leadership growth.  Topics will include, teams and team building, self-advocacy, strategic networking, and leadership style. 

Course Goals/Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop critical and strategic thinking skills.
  • Gain knowledge about leadership strategies and skills.
  • Build team and teamwork skills.
  • Develop project management skills.
  • Engage in self-reflection and peer critique.

Note: This course has a mandatory attendance policy.  Students are expected to attend all classes, including make-up classes.  Attendance will be taken in the first 10 minutes of class.  The faculty reserve the right to adjust grades based on class participation, including attendance.  

Enrollment Policy:  In Spring 2023, this course is restricted to third year students in the Business Law Scholars Program.  

Withdrawal Policy: Students who expect to graduate as Business Law Scholars may not drop or withdraw from this class, unless also withdrawing from the Business Law Scholars Program.

LAW 508 v02 Policy Clinic (Harrison Institute for Public Law)

J.D. Clinic | 8 or 14 credit hours

Students in the Policy Clinic provide services to make democracy work several policy themes. Recent projects include:

  • Community equity – Combat gentrification and displacement in low-income communities of color, develop a community support fund, develop a community resilience hub.
  • Health and food – Organize a consortium to improve working conditions in university food supply chains, expand access to oral health services, reinvent a better food chain for institutions (universities, hospitals, schools, and shelters), analyze social determinants of health (housing, food security, etc.) for state health officials.
  • Labor and human rights – Organize a consortium to improve working conditions in university food supply chains (same as health above), protect worker rights in global supply chains for the FIFA World Cup and other mega-sporting events.
  • Trade and climate – Develop mutually supporting climate and trade policies, develop options for international cooperation on climate policies through “climate clubs,” recommend strategies to decarbonize steel production without violating WTO rules, and identify strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while preserving manufacturing jobs.

Please see the Policy Clinic website for more detailed information about the program.

For registration-specific supplemental materials, please see the Policy Clinic PDF.

For information about clinic registration generally, please see the Clinic Registration Handbook.

Learning outcomes for this clinic: Students are supervised, evaluated and graded on three skill sets, each of which has specific evaluation criteria in the Policy Clinic Operations Guide.

  1. Management and professionalism – includes “managing up” with supervision meetings, initiating self-evaluation, managing effort and deadlines, collaborating, and expectations in a professional culture.
  2. Analysis and strategy – covers legal, policy and strategic analysis.  It includes identifying issues that require analysis, learning the context efficiently, using diverse sources to avoid bias, explaining analytic methods, using a logical framework, and drawing conclusions that meet client needs.
  3. Communication, writing and speaking – includes organizing documents and presentations, meeting audience needs for context and decision-making, relating analysis through stories and examples, presenting visual information, and editing for plain language, clarity, and English style.

Recommended: Legislation and Administrative Law. Also, for climate projects: Local Government Law; and for trade or human rights projects: International Law I, International Trade (various titles), World Trade Organization: Law, Policy and Dispute Settlement, and International Human Rights.

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this clinic and an externship or a practicum course.

LAW 361 v00 Professional Responsibility

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course will focus on lawyers' relationships with clients, opposing parties, the courts, and the public. Problems of professional responsibility are treated in several contexts, including the lawyer's duties to the client, the lawyer's reconciliation of duties to multiple clients, and the lawyer's reconciliation of client obligations with the demands of justice and the public interest. Although the focus of the course is on lawyers' ethical responsibilities, attention will be paid to the important role that lawyers play in advancing client interests and in self-regulating their profession.

Learning Objectives:

The central objectives are to prepare students to recognize ethical problems when they arise; to identify the pertinent authority--including the ethical code provisions (which we will assume to be the Model Rules of Professional Conduct)--that most likely bear on the matter; and to arrive at a sound resolution.

LAW 361 v01 Professional Responsibility

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course endeavors to provide a practical, and practice-oriented (as opposed to academic, philosophical or jurisprudential), approach to the ethical, moral and social issues that lawyers deal with in the practice of their profession. The central objectives are to prepare students to recognize ethical problems when they arise; to identify the pertinent authority--and in particular the ethical code provisions (which we will assume to be the Model Rules of Professional Conduct)--that are most likely to bear on the matter; and to arrive at a sound resolution. Necessary to these ends will be consideration of the ways in which the ethical codes address the often competing interests involved: those of clients, of opposing parties, of non-parties, of the system of justice generally, and of the lawyers themselves. Although the particular focus of the course is on ethical issues, and on the codes and other authority that govern the resolution of such issues, some attention will be paid to putting the subject in a setting that encompasses both a macroscopic view of the role of lawyers in society and a more earth-bound understanding of the processes, disciplinary and compensatory, by which the professional responsibilities of lawyers are enforced.

Learning Objectives:

The central objectives are to prepare students to recognize ethical problems when they arise; to identify the pertinent authority – and in particular the ethical code provisions (which we will assume to be the Model Rules of Professional Conduct) – that are most likely to bear on the matter; and to arrive at a sound resolution.

LAW 361 v04 Professional Responsibility

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course examines, against the background of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct, the professional and ethical obligations and duties of the lawyer in today's society. A quick overview of the organized bar and the restrictions on the profession against such practices as solicitation precedes an in-depth examination of the lawyer's relationship with and obligations to his/her client as well as the additional and frequently clashing obligations which the lawyer owes the court, adversaries, and other persons. The course also includes a summary treatment of disciplinary proceedings and a discussion of the lawyer's professional obligation with respect to broad social problems, such as the distribution of legal services and the representation of unpopular clients and causes. The focus of each professor may vary, e.g., ethics in government, the large private law firm, public interest law, or criminal law.

Note: J.D. Students: Registration for this course will be open to Evening Division students only during the initial J.D. student registration windows. Full-time Day Division students will be able to add or waitlist this course beginning at a later date (Date TBA).

LAW 361 v13 Professional Responsibility

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course examines, against the background of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the ethical obligations of lawyers in the United States. We have responsibilities to clients, the courts, and third parties, and those responsibilities sometimes conflict. Among the topics considered will be paternalism, confidentiality and candor (in negotiation and litigation), fees, conflicts of interest, free speech, and advertising for and solicitation of clients. Professors may also differ in the context chosen to address those (and other) topics: working in government or in a private or public interest law firm; and in the nature of law: civil or criminal.

LAW 361 v54 Professional Responsibility

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course approaches Professional Responsibility from a practical and practice-oriented perspective (as opposed to an academic, historical, philosophical or jurisprudential one) and is intended to equip new lawyers to recognize ethical issues as they arise, identify the relevant rules and resources available that address those issues, and provide a framework for thinking about the best resolution while considering the potential consequences for the attorney, client and any other relevant actors who are involved.

The course will: (1) provide an overview of the rules of professional conduct, using the DC Rules of Professional Conduct as a baseline, but discussing variations in other jurisdictions, primarily New York and California, (2) apply the rules to fact patterns intended to highlight common issues attorneys confront in specific contexts, focusing on practice in a large firm environment, and (3) address an attorney’s liability for legal malpractice (and other potential consequences, such as criminal liability) against the backdrop of the rules of professional conduct.

Note: J.D. Students: Registration for this course will be open to Evening Division students only during the initial J.D. student registration windows. Full-time Day Division students will be able to add or waitlist this course beginning at a later date (Date TBA).

LAW 361 v55 Professional Responsibility

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This two-credit Professional Responsibility course will provide students with a roadmap for analyzing real-world legal ethics dilemmas. We will closely examine the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC) and consider differences between the MRPC, the DC rules, and those of other jurisdictions. But knowing the rules is only the beginning of ethical practice--because they can be surprisingly difficult to apply to specific situations, we will focus on underlying principles and the ways in which particular rules can conflict with each other and with a lawyer's instincts and best intentions. We will also discuss lawyers' duties to the profession, to society, and to their own sense of morality, including representing (or refusing to represent) persons or policies that are unpopular or personally repugnant. Finally, the course will introduce students to the attorney disciplinary process.

LAW 361 v56 Professional Responsibility

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course will explore the ethical duties of confidentiality, loyalty, fiduciary obligations, effective advocacy, obligations to courts and opposing counsel and the personal responsibilities of attorneys as illuminated by the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The course will address the policy issues that have affected the development of ethics rules that apply to the American Legal Profession. The course will also consider whether the policies adopted by the Model Rules serve the public interest in an honorable profession or the parochial, self-interested concerns of the organized Bar.

Learning Objectives:

Basic understanding of ethics rules for lawyers.

LAW 361 v57 Professional Responsibility

J.D. Course (cross-listed) | 2 credit hours

The basic two-credit Professional Responsibility course examines the professional and ethical obligations and duties of the lawyer in today's society. It examines the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. We spend considerable time discussing the real-life application of the rules to the practice of law. We examine the relationship of attorney to client as well as the attorney's ethical duty as a professional in relation to a moral duty to him or her self as well as to society as a whole, including representing (or refusing to represent) persons who are unpopular, guilty, or personally repugnant. The course also introduces students to the attorney disciplinary proceedings and how they work.

LAW 361 v58 Professional Responsibility

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course aims to provide a practical, and practice-oriented (as opposed to academic, philosophical or jurisprudential), approach to the ethical, moral and social issues that lawyers deal with, in practicing their profession. Although the course focuses primarily on ethical issues -- and the codes and other authority used to resolve such issues -- it will pay some attention to putting those questions in practice contexts that afford both a view of the legal profession in society and a more earth-bound understanding of the disciplinary processes for enforcing the professional responsibilities of lawyers.

Learning Objectives:

To prepare students to:

  • recognize ethical problems when they arise;
  • identify the pertinent authority -- particularly the ethical code provisions (based on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct) -- most likely to bear on the matter; and
  • arrive at a sound resolution, within the boundaries set by the Rules.

These objectives also require considering the ways in which the ethical codes address competing interests of clients, opposing parties, non-parties, the system of justice generally, and lawyers themselves.

LAW 361 v59 Professional Responsibility

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course endeavors to provide a practical, and practice-oriented (as opposed to academic, philosophical or jurisprudential), approach to the ethical, moral and social issues that lawyers deal with in the practice of their profession. The central objectives are to prepare students to recognize ethical problems when they arise; to identify the pertinent authority--and in particular the ethical Rules found in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct--that are most likely to bear on the matter; and to arrive at a sound resolution. Necessary to these ends will be consideration of the ways in which the ethical codes address the often competing interests involved: those of clients, of opposing parties, of non-parties, of the system of justice generally, and of the lawyers themselves. Although the particular focus of the course is on ethical issues, and on the codes and other authority that govern the resolution of such issues, some attention will be paid to putting the subject in a setting that encompasses both a macroscopic view of the role of lawyers in society and a more earth-bound understanding of the processes, disciplinary and compensatory, by which the professional responsibilities of lawyers are enforced.

Note: J.D. Students: Registration for this course will be open to Evening Division students only during the initial J.D. student registration windows. Full-time Day Division students will be able to add or waitlist this course beginning at 9:30 a.m. ET on July 14.

LAW 361 v16 Professional Responsibility and the Future of the Legal Profession

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course will deal with problems of professional responsibility and legal ethics from the standpoint of the practicing lawyer confronted with real-world issues requiring decision-making on the part of the lawyer rather than purely abstract speculation. It will cover such topics as avoiding and resolving conflicts of interest; preserving client confidences; ethical problems arising in civil and criminal litigation, including disclosure obligations to adversaries and tribunals, responding to discovery requests and handling the untruthful client; attorney fees and methods of attracting legal business; and the role and duties of counsel in particular relationships, such as lawyers for the government, inside and outside lawyers for corporations and other entities and public interest lawyers.

The course will also focus on the changes in the legal profession in recent years, such as the rise of mega-law firms, the globalization of law practice, the entry of women and minorities in large numbers into the profession, and the impact of technology, and what they import for the future of the profession. It is designed to help law students in making career choices in the law as well as to become better lawyers.

Recommended: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Civil Procedure (or Legal Process and Society) and Torts (or Bargain, Exchange and Liability).

LAW 361 v28 Professional Responsibility: Advocacy and Ethics in Practice

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

Professional Responsibility: Advocacy and Ethics in Practice is a two-credit course in which through simulation involving interaction with clients, fact-finding, negotiation, and litigation, students will learn how ethical and values dilemmas arise in advocacy and practice settings and how ethical rules and other forms of regulation address them. During the semester, simulation exercises may include:

  • A court sanctions hearing relating to alleged abuses in civil discovery;
  • A simulation of interactions with a client and opposing counsel during a difficult contract negotiation
  • An internal law firm investigation of alleged associate and partner abuses in billing;
  • A disciplinary hearing relating to in-house counsel’s alleged complicity in his company’s fraudulent misconduct; and
  • A meeting with a virtual law firm client in which advice is given on how to avoid unauthorized practice of law and marketing restriction in a multi-jurisdiction practice.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Knowledge about professional responsibility requirements and ambiguity.
  2. Ability to engage in critical strategic thinking when analyzing professional responsibility issues
  3. Ability to develop and sharpen creative problem-solving skills
  4. Ability to work collaboratively on matters assigned to a team
  5. Ability to engage in effective and persuasive oral and written advocacy

LAW 1264 v00 Professional Responsibility: Ethics in Public Interest Practice

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

Public interest lawyering is counter-cultural in the legal profession, but the substantive law governing lawyers is generally the same regardless of practice area. This course examines the regulation of the legal profession with a focus on the ethical issues most often encountered by public interest lawyers. Most class meetings will be devoted to applying the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and other lawyer law to problems chosen from the text and other sources. Issues will include confidentiality and publicity; allocation of decision-making authority; conflicts of interest between individual clients and the broader client community or particular social justice movement; settlement and fee shifting; and special problems in organizational, class, and mass representation. The course will also examine the history of public interest law, issues confronting the public interest movement, and career options.

Note: This course satisfies the Professional Responsibility requirement for the Public Interest Law Scholars program ("PILS").

LAW 1187 v00 Professional Responsibility: Problems from Practice

J.D. Course | 3 credit hours

The premise of this course is that studying the legal profession, and particularly its code of ethics, is exciting! May a lawyer rat on her client who is planning to kill someone? Is it permissible for a prosecutor to impersonate a defense lawyer in order to save lives? May a lawyer represent two criminal co-defendants? Must a prosecutor turn in his best friend, a fellow prosecutor who has concealed evidence from a criminal defendant?

In this course, we will read very few judicial opinions. Instead, we will work on about forty ungraded problems, most of which are based on real situations that lawyers faced. Instead of assigning you to read autopsies of cases (that is, appellate opinions), I will provide you with the relevant legal framework (most importantly, the Rules of Professional Conduct) and then ask you to step into the shoes of a lawyer who has to make a critical decision, often caught between conflicting loyalties.

You will use your laptop or internet-enabled mobile phone to cast anonymous votes, to register what you would do as the problems unfold. Class discussions will explore and evaluate the legal, ethical and strategic justifications for each possible course of action. After the discussion of each problem, I will reveal what happened in the real case.

The course will include a unit on the American Legal Profession: its history, the relative advantages of large-firm, small-firm, and public service practice, and how recent economic developments are changing both the legal profession and the career opportunities for graduates of Georgetown Law.

The textbook for the course will be Lisa G. Lerman and Philip G. Schrag, ETHICAL PROBLEMS IN THE PRACTICE OF LAW ( 5th edition, 2020).  Also required is a supplement: Lerman, Schrag and Gupta, Ethical Problems in the Practice of Law: Model Rules, State Variations, and Practice  Questions (2021-2022 edition).

The professor has created a document with a summary of the learning goals for this course.

Note: This course meets the J.D. Professional Responsibility graduation requirement. Students may receive credit for only one offering in the Professional Responsibility series. For a list of the PR series courses, please see the Legal Profession/Professional Responsibility cluster essay. The courses in the PR series are open to only J.D. students.

LAW 361 v10 Professional Responsibility: The American Legal Profession in the 21st Century: Technology, Markets, and Regulation

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This class considers lawyers’ professional responsibilities through the lens of legal practice in the 21st Century. During the last decade, economic forces and the emergence of new technologies have roiled the legal services market. With the recent recession, individual and corporate clients have rejected traditional models of service delivery. In response, more entrepreneurial lawyers have developed new organizational structures and business models to serve clients more efficiently. In the meantime, new digital technologies have emerged that in some instances enhance the effectiveness of legal representation and in others risk displacing lawyers altogether. This course, which satisfies the professional responsibility requirement, explores what these trends mean for the regulation of lawyers and law as a profession.

Note: Laptop use is not permitted.

LAW 361 v60 Professional Responsibility: The Ethical Lawyer and the Good Life

J.D. Course | 2 credit hours

This course explores the legal principles and rules that govern lawyers and law practice. We will use the Model Rules of Professional Conduct as our framework and cover topics that include the regulation of lawyers, legal malpractice, the formation and termination of the attorney-client relationship, the duties of confidentiality, zealous representation and candor to the court, the lawyer's duties to adversaries and third parties, conflicts of interest, the attorney/client privilege and the work product doctrine. We will take a problem-oriented approach and make ethical arguments in class with respect to assigned problems to help students develop the analytical tools to identify and resolve ethical issues. Our approach to solving ethical problems will use traditional methods of legal analysis, real life experiences, and theories of decision making that recognize the biases that can lead to error. We will consider situations where what seems like the right course of action may be unethical. We will also discuss how adhering to ethical rules can help make a technically competent lawyer into a great lawyer. And we will analyze how being an ethical lawyer can lead to a meaningful professional life and contribute to the public good by providing pro bono legal services and using ethical rules to help preserve a free and democratic society.

Learning Objectives:

The goals of this course are:

  1. to master the core Rules of Professional Conduct and related substantive and procedural law;
  2. to recognize ethical issues early before it is too late to resolve them;
  3. to learn to make compelling arguments on legal ethics issues and to resolve those issues;
  4. to explore how the ethical lawyer can be professionally fulfilled;
  5. to recognize the pressures and stresses of practicing law and the importance of taking action to address them;
  6. to apply insights from the field of psychology to avoid bias in resolving ethical issues;and
  7. to find happiness in the practice of law.

LAW 611 v05 Social Intelligence in the Practice of Law: Dealing Effectively with Clients, Colleagues, and Opposing Counsel

J.D. Seminar | 1 credit hour

This Week One simulation will introduce students to the essential concepts and competencies of social intelligence implicated in all forms of a law practice, including law firms, government agencies, corporations, non-profits and a solo practice. Students will learn about emotional intelligence and research that illustrates how basic brain function and other factors, such as strong emotion, influence how a person makes decisions. Using a combination of lecture, discussion, videos, skills exercises and simulations of common legal practice scenarios, this course will emphasize concrete, practical tools to increase students’ effectiveness in managing themselves and their interactions with others. The course will equip students with an improved ability to effectively communicate with others and make them feel heard; present information in the most persuasive light; recognize and address their own internal biases; act with assertiveness when necessary; learn how to effectively give and receive criticism; and deal with highly emotional or extremely difficult individuals. This course also will present positive strategies for dealing with common interpersonal relationships in the legal workplace: lawyer-client, lawyer-opposing counsel, and lawyer-co-counsel. Students completing this course will have developed a solid grasp on how to address the wide variety of interpersonal dynamics that commonly arise in the legal arena.

Learning Objectives:

The main objectives of this course are to increase students’ awareness of the substantial role of social intelligence in the practice of law, and to provide students with concrete skills to effectively handle day-to-day interactions. Students will learn research-based skills and strategies from the fields of neuroscience, the study of emotions and emotional intelligence, negotiations and communication. As they learn theory, students will have the opportunity to practice techniques for harnessing these dynamics in professional interactions commonly involved in the actual practice of law. The simulations will emphasize positive strategies for dealing with common interpersonal interactions in a legal practice: lawyer-client, lawyer-opposing counsel and lawyer-colleague. At the end of the course students will have an improved ability to effectively communicate and negotiate, present information in a persuasive light; recognize and address internal biases; and deal with highly emotional or extremely difficult individuals -- skills that talented legal minds need to become great counselors at law.

Note: This course is mandatory pass/fail, and does NOT count against the 7-credit pass/fail limit for J.D. students.

This optional, elective course is for first-year J.D. students only, who will enroll via the Live Registration process.

ATTENDANCE AT ALL CLASS SESSIONS IS MANDATORY. All enrolled and waitlisted students must be in attendance at the start of the first class session in order to be eligible for a seat in the class and must attend each class session in its entirety. For more information, please see the Week One website.

Due to the intensive nature of the course, the small-group, team, and individual work that is involved, and the preparation that is necessary to ensure a positive student experience, students who wish to drop the course after they have accepted a seat must drop by Monday, November 28, 2022 at 3:00 p.m. After that point, students must receive permission from both the course professor and Assistant Dean for Experiential Education to drop the course. Permission will only be granted when remaining enrolled in the course would cause significant hardship for the student. Students who are enrolled but do not attend the first class session will be withdrawn from the course.

LAW 1397 v00 Street Law: Criminal Justice and Human Rights (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 5 credit hours

Please see the Street Law website and this video for more information.

OVERVIEW: Street Law is a project-based practicum where Georgetown Law students teach practical law courses at DC public high schools. Street Law instructors help the local community better understand the law, identify how it impacts them, and develop legal and analytical skills. Law students will be assigned to a DC public high school class or the DC Jail to teach law and law-related concepts for the semester. Law students are immersed in the practical application of law and exercise actual lawyering skills (public speaking, legal research, and writing, advocacy, etc). The curriculum focuses on the purpose of laws and legal reasoning, legal negotiations, criminal justice, and human rights. The course capstone is a human rights “mini” mock trial where the high school students perform as lawyers and witnesses and compete against other Street Law classes. This practicum allows law students to gain invaluable lawyering skills while actively giving back to the local community.

SEMINAR: The seminar provides instruction in the law and legal concepts, classroom management, lesson planning, and student assessment using interactive methods. Outside of the seminar, faculty provide intense support for each student to support their learning and growth.

PROJECT WORK: Law student instructors are placed in DC public high school classrooms based primarily on their academic schedules for the semester. All high school classes will be taught in person. There, they will work for at least 10 hours/week preparing for and teaching a course in practical law. Law student instructors have the primary responsibility for the instruction and grading of their students. Street Law faculty and fellows observe each law student instructor and conduct post-observation debriefs at least three times per semester. The instructional methods are subject to change to accommodate Georgetown Law and DC Public Schools COVID policy.  

ORIENTATION: There is a four-day interactive orientation from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., dates to be announced, where law students will experience the student-centered teaching methodology they will use in their own classes. Attendance at the orientation is mandatory.

ENROLLMENT INFORMATION: Students enroll in this course via MyAccess. Students are encouraged to enroll in this practicum course and the spring semester practicum course Street Law: Mock Trial Advocacy. A background check will be required.  

After registering via MyAccess, please email Street Law Professor Charisma Howell at ch329@georgetown.edu to set up an informational interview with Street Law staff.

 

Prerequisite: Students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).  

Mutually Excluded Courses:

Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may not receive credit for this course and the summer course, Street Law: Corrections and Community.

Note:

This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email the Registrar'sOffice (lawreg@law.georgetown.edu) to request admission.

Evening students who can commit to attending the seminar are encouraged to apply to this course as there will be opportunities to undertake the necessary 10 hours of project work during evening and/or weekend hours.

This is a five-credit course. One credit will be awarded for the orientation, two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar, and two credits will be awarded for at least 10 hours of project work per week. There will be one combined grade for all five credits.

Students who enroll in this course are automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After 12:00 p.m. (ET) on Friday, July 29, 2022, a student who wishes to withdraw from this course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars, field placements, and scheduled events. If a student must miss a seminar, a Street Law event, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar, or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work, may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 1398 v00 Street Law: Mock Trial Advocacy (Project-Based Practicum)

J.D. Practicum | 4-5 credit hours

Please see the Street Law website for more information about the program.

OVERVIEW: Street Law is a project-based practicum course where Georgetown Law students teach a course in mock trial advocacy at DC public high schools or a variety of community settings ranging from adult and juvenile correctional facilities to treatment centers for alcohol and drug addiction. Street Law instructors help the local community better understand the law, identify how it impacts them, and develop legal and analytical skills. This project-based course will focus on trial and litigation skills and prepares high school students and community members to compete in the Annual City-wide Mock Trial Tournament. Law students help their students prepare for a complicated criminal or civil trial. The law students develop a thorough understanding of trial procedure, law, and effective advocacy skills. This practicum allows law students to actively give back to the local community while gaining invaluable lawyering skills.

SEMINAR: Seminars are devoted to teaching law and legal reasoning, mock trial advocacy skills, classroom management, lesson planning, and student assessment using interactive methods. Outside of the seminar, faculty provide intense supports for each student to support their learning and growth.

PROJECT WORK: Law student instructors are assigned to regular DC public high school classrooms or other community placements based primarily on their academic schedules for the semester. There, they will work for at least 10 hours/week preparing for and teaching a course in practical law. Law student instructors have the primary responsibility for the instruction and grading of their students. Street Law faculty and fellows observe each law student instructor and conduct post-observation debriefs at least three times per semester. The experience of guiding students through the mock trial process is remarkable and unforgettable. The analytical and critical thinking skills that high school students and community members develop, thanks to the law student instructors, are invaluable for their future endeavors.

ORIENTATION: There is a four-day orientation required for this practicum course conducted in mid-January. During orientation law students will participate in lesson plans that they will use in their own classes and learn about the student-centered teaching methodology. In-person attendance at the orientation is mandatory. Evening division students should reach out to practicum faculty to discuss orientation schedule conflicts. Attendance at this orientation is mandatory for students who did not already take the fall semester Street Law: Criminal Justice and Human Rights practicum.

NOTE: Students who took the fall semester Street Law: Criminal Justice and Human Rights practicum course before the Fall 2022 semester (e.g., in Fall 2021) may need to attend one of the four days of orientation. Students should speak with Professor Howell for more information.

ENROLLMENT INFORMATION: Students enroll in this course via MyAccess. Students are encouraged to enroll in this practicum course and the fall semester practicum course Street Law: Criminal Justice and Human Rights. Alternatively, students who enroll in this course may take the summer course, Street Law: Corrections and Community.

After registering via MyAccess, please email Street Law Professor Charisma Howell at ch329@georgetown.edu to set up an informational interview with Street Law staff.

 

Prerequisite: Students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).  

Mutually Excluded Courses: Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course.

Note: This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email the Registrar's Office (lawreg@law.georgetown.edu) to request admission.

Evening students who can commit to attending the seminar are encouraged to apply to this course as there will be opportunities to undertake the necessary 10 hours of project work during evening and/or weekend hours.

This is a four or five-credit course. One credit will be awarded for the four-day orientation (if the student did not participate in the fall), two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar, and two credits will be awarded for at least 10 hours of project work per week. There will be one combined grade for all four or five credits. Students taking this course and the fall semester Street Law: Criminal Justice and Human Rights practicum are not required to attend the spring orientation and will receive four credits for this course.

Students who enroll in this course are automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After November 14, 2022, a student who wishes to withdraw from this course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars, field placements, and scheduled events. If a student must miss a seminar, a Street Law event, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar, or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work, may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

LAW 1465 v00 Women and Leadership Seminar

J.D. Seminar | 3 credit hours

This course focuses on women and leadership. You will develop skills for teams, teamwork, self-advocacy, navigating organizational politics, and networking. You will also focus on your own personal leadership style. We will learn from notable leaders who will share their experiences and advice with the class. These conversations will be supplemented with cases and readings about women leaders, as well as a review of the current state of empirical evidence about the status of women as leaders. You will also reflect both individually and with the group on what you expect from your career and develop strategies for achieving those goals.

Course Goals/Student Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop self-advocacy tactics and styles.
  • Develop critical and strategic thinking skills.
  • Improve communication skills, both oral and written.
  • Develop team and collaborative skills.

Note:

This course has mandatory attendance at the first class session and all remaining sessions. Participants are expected to participate actively in each class. All participants will submit reaction papers/essays on the assigned materials for some of the classes and complete a team project, including a presentation in the last two weeks of class.

Add/Drop and Withdrawal Policies: Students in Women and Leadership participate in team projects. Because this class cannot successfully operate without a set group of students who are assigned their roles in advance, it is essential we ensure a fixed enrollment for the class, by adopting special rules for dropping the class.

A STUDENT ENROLLED IN WOMEN AND LEADERSHIP SEMINAR MAY DROP THE CLASS NO LATER THAN 5:00 p.m. ON WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2022 and only by notifying Professor Sale (has75@georgetown.edu) in writing.  After August 24 at 5:00 p.m., any drop will be recorded as a "W" (for withdrawal) on the student's transcript.  Students are not allowed to drop this course during the official add/drop period.  

Note: This course is offered on a mandatory pass/fail basis. This course does not count toward the seven credit pass/fail limit.

Full-time and Visiting Faculty

Hope Babcock
John M. Copacino
Peter B. Edelman
Deborah Epstein
Heidi Li Feldman
David A. Koplow
David J. Luban
Wallace J. Mlyniec
Milton C. Regan
Susan Deller Ross
Tanina Rostain
Paul F. Rothstein
Philip G. Schrag
Abbe Smith
Robert K. Stumberg
David M. Vladeck