210 sec. 003 - Legal Profession (Fall 2019)
Instructor: Steven Lewis (view instructor's teaching evaluations - degree students only)
View all teaching evaluations for this course - degree students only
- Th 3:35 PM - 5:25 PM
Location: Law 140
From August 22, 2019
To November 22, 2019
Course End: November 22, 2019
Class Number: 32409
Enroll Limit: 49
As of: 04/07 11:14 PM
The material we cover in this course will be relevant, fundamental and challenging to all of you, no matter your field of practice. Almost all members of the legal profession serve as representatives of clients and officers of the legal system. In addition, we all serve as public citizens with special responsibilities for the quality of justice. While our responsibilities in these spheres are usually harmonious, from time-to-time, all lawyers find themselves faced with ethical and moral challenges. These challenges typically arise from conflicts between our responsibilities to our clients, our obligations to the legal system, and a personal interest in remaining ethical while earning a living.
This course is designed to provide students a working familiarity with the professional responsibilities of lawyers as expressed in the rules of professional conduct, statutes enacted by Congress and state legislatures, the Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers, case law, and ethics opinions issued by various bar associations. Our primary focus will be on the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, as those rules provide the general framework for the rules adopted by almost all states , and as those are the rules tested on the MPRE. We will also look at modified rules adopted in specific jurisdictions with an emphasis on California.
Each week you will be asked to read one or more of the rules of professional conduct, the comments to those rules and other relevant materials. You will also be asked to read and study hypothetical problems. The hypothetical problems will typically be based on real-life ethical dilemmas. While there will be time devoted to lectures every week, a significant portion of each class will be devoted to students working in small groups (typically 3-4 students) to formulate proposed responses to the issues raised by the hypothetical scenarios. Students will then be asked to share their proposed solutions with the class and to challenge each other when, as inevitably occurs, opinions differ. This is not an MPRE-prep class; however, during some sessions sample MPRE questions will be administered and discussed.
Steven Lewis, who recently retired to devote more time to learning, engaging in civic activity and traveling, represented and advised lawyers (from sole practitioners to members of Am Law 100 firms) for more than 40 years. During that time he represented lawyers practicing in almost all fields of law and helped lawyers and law firms navigate their way through a wide variety of issues. He taught more than 200 continuing education classes for lawyers in the fields of ethics and risk management, and served as the Chair of the California State Bar Association Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct, the standing committee that writes California State Bar ethics opinions.
Attendance at the first class is mandatory for all currently enrolled and waitlisted students; any currently enrolled or waitlisted students who are not present on the first day of class (without prior permission of the instructor) will be dropped. The instructor will continue to take attendance throughout the add/drop period and anyone who moves off the waitlist into the class must continue to attend in order not to be dropped.
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A reader will be used in this class.
Instructor has indicated that no books will be assigned.