Curriculum Guide · Courses
Professional Responsibility: Ethics in Public Interest Practice
Professor Michael Kirkpatrick
J.D. Course 361 | 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. This section is open to all students and priority in enrollment is given to students enrolled in the Public Interest Law Scholars program ("PILS").
Students may receive credit for only one offering in the Professional Responsibility series and may not receive credit for both a course in this series and American Legal Profession or Professional Responsibility: Lawyers’ Ethics in an Adversary System or Legal Ethics in Corporate Practice or Professional Responsibility: Problems from Practice or Professional Responsibility for Tax Lawyers. Students MAY receive credit for this course and Professional Responsibility in Law Firm and Corporate Practice.
This course satisfies the Law Center’s professional responsibility requirement. Priority for enrollment is given to students enrolled in the Public Interest Law Scholars program ("PILS").