In this class we will explore both large philosophical questions and nitty gritty problems that arise in a lawyer’s working life. We will look at diverse and conflicting views of the role of lawyers in society and consider a wide range of questions. What does it mean to be a member of a profession? What does it mean to “represent” a client? What if your client is a corporation? Do lawyers have a responsibility to promote social justice? What limits are there, if any, on a lawyer’s duty to advise clients engaged in conduct that may be dangerous to others? What should you do if you know another lawyer is breaking the law? Suppose you suspect that your client has lied in court? Do you ever have the duty to tell a client her actions are morally wrong? The right to tell her so? What, if any, are the special roles and duties of a government lawyer? Are lawyers expected to be more or less honest than everyone else? How do the economic realities of access to legal representation affect legal ethics? How should they?
Final grades will be based primarily on an open-book, in-class final examination. Consideration will also be given to the quality of students’ participation in class discussions.