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Legal Profession - Spring 2024

This course will examine the rules and standards of professional responsibility and legal ethics with a focus on how the study and practice of law shape the professional identity formation of law students and lawyers. As the Preamble to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct states, “Virtually all difficult ethical problems arise from conflict between a lawyer’s responsibilities to clients, to the legal system and to the lawyer’s own interest in remaining an ethical person while earning a satisfactory living.” We will therefore explore how you can develop practical judgment and good decision-making skills to navigate these conflicts. We will use a problem-based approach that will enhance your ability to identify ethical issues and apply the professional responsibility standards to the variety of ethical situations lawyers face in daily law practice across different practice settings. Given that lawyers’ often divergent duties may impact their personal integrity, the course will consider how religious principles and moral virtues inform our understanding of how best to approach ethical challenges. We will also address how issues of professional responsibility affect lawyers’ well-being and how developing your personal philosophy of lawyering will help you contemplate the kind of lawyer you want to be and the ways you can improve the legal profession.

For more information visit the Harvard Law School Course Catalog.