Professional Responsibility

In the Professional Responsibility course, students are taught that ethical participation in the legal profession requires:
  • Subordinating a lawyer’s own interests to those of clients.
  • Avoiding matters where the interests of two or more clients or former clients are in conflict except as legal ethics rules allow otherwise.
  • Respecting the autonomy of clients, which means taking care that clients, after being fully informed, are able to make decisions that they have the unqualified right to make.
  • Informing and consulting with clients about even those decisions the lawyer is entitled to make whenever the client has a legitimate interest in being consulted.
  • Responding to a client’s request for information in a timely manner and to keep the client informed about significant developments in the matter.
  • Protecting a client’s privileged and confidential information so that disclosure or use of that information is only for the client’s benefit unless an exception allows or requires otherwise.
  • Acting with civility and honesty in dealings with clients, opponents and others encountered in law practice.
  • Acting with candor toward courts and other tribunals, and what candor requires.
  • Acting competently and what that requires.
  • Exercising independent professional judgment for a client and what that entails.
  • Pursuing a client’s goals diligently and with devotion.
  • Understanding and appreciation of the importance of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the Rules of Professional Conduct of New York.