Policies - Intro to U.S. Legal Profession

Professor George W. Conk
Senior Fellow, Stein Center for Law & Ethics

 Welcome to Introduction to the Legal Profession.
This class is an introduction to the Law Governing Lawyers and the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPCs).
The course is centered on the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct on which the Multi-State Professional Responsibility Exam is based.  (Although this class is oriented toward preparation for the MPRE it is not a substitute for a test prep course by one of the private companies that offers that service.)
Topics include
Basic elements of Law Practice: 
Establishing the lawyer-client relationship, unauthorized practice, competence, terminating the relationship
The duty of competence
Malpractice Liability; Ineffective assistance of counsel
Principles governing the attorney client relationship
Allocating decision-making between lawyer and client
The Business, technology and marketing of legal services
Solicitation, Advertising
Contingent fees
Court-Awarded Attorney’s Fees
Attorney client privilege and the duty of confidentiality under RPC 1.6
General obligations, exceptions; Simultaneous representation standards - direct adversity, materially limited, reasonable belief, competent and diligent representation, informed consent, waiver, aggregate settlements
Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts between client’s interests and lawyer’s personal interests; lawyer advocate as witness; representation adverse to former client; Lawyer as third party neutral; vicarious disqualification of firm under RPC 1.10 “typhoid Mary, screening; conflicts in criminal cases
Special Ethical Rules - prosecutors
The prosecutor’s discretion and the decision to charge; “discovery” - the prosecutor’s duty to disclose mitigating evidence to the defense

Two hour In-class MPRE multiple choice type exam 

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