Ethics (Law) (EHGL)

EHGL 0169. Positive Lawyering for Peak Performance. (1 Credit)

This class will meet on Wednesdays from 11:00 AM – 12:25 PM ET nine times over the course of the semester. Students can elect to earn either 1 or 2 credits in connection with this course. All students will receive 1 credit for completing the seminar requirements. Students may earn an additional independent study credit (for a total of 2 credits) by completing an optional research paper that satisfies the upper-year writing requirement. <p> This course focuses on how developments in positive psychology (the science of what makes people and institutions flourish) and executive coaching can be leveraged to produce peak performance lawyering. We will begin by exploring the research surrounding lawyer well-being and performance, and how certain cognitive and behavioral patterns that are pervasive in the legal profession prevent many lawyers from being as happy, healthy, or successful as they could be. The balance of the course will focus on equipping students with a toolkit of science-backed skills and strategies they can use to counteract these maladaptive thought and behavioral patterns in order to achieve greater satisfaction in their personal and professional lives. Topics will include resilience, character strengths, social and emotional intelligence, the power of positive emotions, high-quality connections, creativity, mindfulness, and self-awareness. <p> The course will be interactive and experiential in nature. Students will complete assessments to gain greater awareness of their cognitive and behavioral styles, and will engage in in-class exercises and discussions to begin cultivating the skills and strategies covered in the course materials. Students will be asked to complete a series of positive interventions outside of class, and to submit weekly journal entries reflecting on their experience.

EHGL 0178. Professionalism in U.S. Legal Culture. (1 Credit)

This course, designed for international law students, will provide insights into the some of the prevalent aspects and norms of professionalism in the context of the U.S. legal profession–an understanding of how to nurture and develop a robust and sustainable professional persona, how to engage in cross-border intelligence and negotiation, diversity in the legal profession, law firm culture, and the role of lawyers as counselors and as leaders. The course will feature conversations with several prominent guest speakers and will end with an open discussion of the issues addressed in the seminar.

EHGL 0203. Professional Responsibility. (3 Credits)

Hybrid Professional Responsibility explores the rules and law governing lawyers, the way lawyers find meaning in their work, and the role of lawyers in society. This course covers the major doctrinal topics that you will need to practice as an ethical lawyer and that you will encounter on the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam. These topics include unauthorized practice of law, the lawyer-client relationship, finding and billing clients, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, and duties to the legal system, as well as prosecutorial and judicial ethics. The course also introduces professionalism, debates regarding the proper role of the lawyer, technological and global developments in the regulation of legal services, current ethical issues, and wellness as an ethical responsibility. <p> In addition to meeting for one synchronous session each week, you will have asynchronous assignments that are the equivalent of an additional class session. These online assignments consist of short video lectures and the problems in the Casebook, many of which are written in the style of the MPRE. The synchronous session will use hypotheticals, role plays, and simulations to explore issues in greater depth, as well as to offer you an opportunity to review materials you found difficult. <p> Professor Fouad Section Description:<br> Professional Responsibility explores the rules and laws governing lawyer conduct. The course is practice-oriented and focuses on legal and ethical questions that attorneys face daily. Topics include: bar admission and discipline; undertaking client representation; duties to clients, non-clients, and the courts; attorney advertising; civil and criminal liability; and attorney conduct in litigation, business transactions, and otherwise. The course utilizes case law excerpts, the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, select ethics opinions, other standards governing lawyer conduct, and topical news articles to analyze issues that arise in practice. The societal role of attorneys in shaping our judicial system is also a focus, particularly issues of racism, wealthism, and political influence in skewing the scales of justice.

Attributes: JD, LWPR.

EHGL 0208. Prof Resp: Corp Counsel. (3 Credits)

Professional responsibility for corporate counsel is a course designed for students who will likely represent public companies, either as outside counsel or as inside counsel. The ethics issues facing such lawyers are very daunting and are growing ever more complex. And the risks to such lawyers include not just violating the ethics rules governing lawyers, but also exposure to sanctions by a myriad of regulators, as well as exposure to money damage law suits. In many circumstances there are no easy answers, as different jurisdictions approach a number of situations differently. As such, law students about to join the profession need to be aware of these problems and how best to address them.

Attributes: CEED, CETH, LAWB, LLM, LWPR.

EHGL 0209. Professional Responsibility: Criminal Advocacy. (3 Credits)

This seminar focuses on the ethical responsibilities of prosecutors and criminal defense lawyers. Topics include the allocation of decision-making authority, the duty of confidentiality and its limits, conflicts of interests, and ethical responsibilities in the investigation and trial of criminal cases. While focusing on the codified standards of professional conduct and other aspects of the law of lawyering, the seminar will also explore the relationship between the Constitution and professional conduct rules as well as how problems left unresolved by those rules ought to be addressed. A paper will be required. Enrollment is limited. Notes/Miscellaneous: This course satisfies the Professional Responsibility Requirement but may NOT be used to satisfy the Writing Requirement.


EHGL 0213. Prof Resp: Civil Litigation. (3 Credits)

This is a seminar on professional responsibility with a particular emphasis on ethical problems of interest to civil litigators. The text is Morgan, Rotunda & Dzienkowski, Professional Responsibility: Problems and Materials, Twelfth Edition (Foundation Press). We will use the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and supplemented by reference to the New York Rules of Professional Conduct. Our class discussions will examine the fundamentals of the attorney-client relationship; basic duties to the client of competence, confidentiality, and loyalty; and conflicts of interest. We will also discuss the legal profession and what it means to be a professional. Specific litigation issues will include the ethical dimensions of settlement negotiations, discovery and evidence gathering and especially e-discovery (e.g., inadvertent disclosure of confidential information), ethical standards in commencing litigation, litigation tactics, and client and witness perjury, interviewing and coaching. We will review the evolving ethical issues arising out of attorney’s use of social media. We expect to have guest speakers from time-to-time. This is a collaborative seminar, not a lecture course, and active course participation is expected. This is a three credit course.

Attributes: CEED, CETH, LIDR, LWPR.

EHGL 0226. Introduction to the United States Legal Profession. (2 or 3 Credits)

This course is about the professional responsibility of U.S. lawyers and is specifically tailored for International LL.M. students. As such, the course is meant to provide a holistic introduction to some of the key professional responsibility aspects that a foreign law-trained lawyer should expect to consider when working in the U.S. or dealing with U.S. lawyers from abroad. Using a textbook, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and the NY Rules of Professional Conduct, supplemented by pertinent cases and other materials, this course will examine the fundamental notions that govern the conduct of lawyers in relation to their clients, third parties and the courts. There will be an in-class, open-book exam.

Attributes: LLM, LWPR.

EHGL 0260. Becoming a Lawyer: Discovering and Defining Your Professional Persona. (1 Credit)

This seminar will explore various topics related to law practice and developing a robust and sustainable legal professional persona. The seminar will focus on three broad features of defining and developing a professional persona: (1) Building blocks—(un)conscious (in)competence, habit formation, intelligence for lawyers, and leadership (2) self-management (mindset and dispositions), time management and organization, and wellbeing and sustainability and (3) relationships—working with others, talent management, effective communication, and your public professional persona. The course will conclude with student presentations reflecting on what they learned in developing their professional persona over the course of seminar.<p> Grades will be based on regular written assignments and student presentations.<p> This course is open to LLM students only.

Attribute: LLM.

EHGL 0299. Professional Responsibility: Lawyers and Justice. (3 Credits)

In the context of lawyers who work primarily to promote social justice and the public good, this course explores the legal ethics rules, the role of the lawyer in society, and the intersection between legal ethics and political philosophy. The course will examine the standard assumption that actors in the legal system are capable of neutrality, including the belief that lawyers should be “neutral partisans” and that judges should be “neutral arbiters.” Many, however, reject these perspectives. They argue that neutrality in the face of systemic white supremacy, racism, sexism, heterosexism, and transphobia only sustains inequality and oppression. These critiques, in turn, have generated conceptions of the lawyer’s role and the rule of law that rely on a commitment to equal human dignity, and not neutrality. These approaches include feminist, antiracist, rebellious, lgbtq+, religious, and law reform perspectives. <p> The course will include both synchronous and asynchronous components. During the first eight class sessions, the asynchronous units will cover the law and ethics of lawyering and will account for approximately half of class hours. In those eight classes, the synchronous half will briefly review the law and ethics of lawyering and will primarily focus on lawyers’ and legal workers’ strategies for promoting social change. These eight synchronous sessions may include guest speakers. Students will lead the final five classes. Student leadership will include synchronous presentations, as well as blog posts and videos. Each student must also submit a ten-page final paper which may be on the same topic as the student’s class presentation. Throughout the course, students will also have to provide brief response papers. <p> Satisfies the Professional Responsibility requirement. Attendance at the first class is mandatory.

Attributes: CEED, CETH, INLJ, LWPR.

EHGL 0319. Prosecutors: Law, Politics, and Ethics. (2 Credits)

EHGL 0349. Prof Res: Alter Disp Res Ethic. (3 Credits)

This course involves the study of the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility and the New York Rules of Professional Conduct with an emphasis on alternative dispute resolution (ADR). During the past 35 plus years, an ADR ethical infrastructure has both developed and undergone rapid and irregular growth. Critical and complex ethical and professional responsibility issues relating to various aspects of ADR processes are challenging the legal profession and policymakers because such issues do not fit neatly into pre-existing structures. Such issues include counseling and decision making, duty of candor, confidentiality, conflicts of interests, unauthorized practice of law, fees, advertising and others. This course will also discuss the ethical issues impacting ADR providers and non-legal neutrals.

Attributes: LIDR, LWPR.

EHGL 0371. Public Interest Lawyer Adv Sem. (2 or 4 Credits)

This seminar examines issues of law, practice and theory relating to the work of lawyers in public interest settings. The principal work of the seminar is fieldwork: Students in the seminar work in small groups with other seminar students on projects in conjunction with public interest organizations, with supervision from the seminar faculty and from attorneys at those organizations. Projects have included the development of: know-your-rights guides and trainings for members of the public reports and proposals for legislative or institutional reform pro bono manuals for attorneys and litigation strategy for briefs or campaigns. Seminar requirements include development of and collaboration on a project with classmates, ongoing presentations regarding the project, a final product for the organization, and an analytic paper based on the project. The seminar requires a substantial time commitment and a willingness to work in conjunction with other students and lawyers.

Attributes: EXP, JD, PIE.

EHGL 0372. Public Interest Lawyering Advanced Casework. (2 Credits)

EHGL 0708. Peer Mentoring and Leadership. (1 Credit)

Students in this course will mentor 2L students. The weekly one-hour interactive class meetings with Dean Sugin and Professor Confino will focus on successful mentoring techniques and developing leadership skills, including: emotional intelligence, team-building, grit, active listening, cognitive biases, giving and receiving feedback, effective communication, and achieving balance. Students will keep journals about their mentoring. Students will have budgets to spend with their mentees.

EHGL 0807. Peer Mentorship 2D/2E. (0 Credits)

Do you wish you had an upper-class student helping you to navigate law school? If you would like a 3L/4E student to meet with you on a regular basis as you navigate your 2L year, please register to be a peer mentee. Your mentor(s) will take you for coffee/lunch and check in with you throughout the semester. There is no class associated with this, but by registering, you will be assigned an upper-class mentor. Transfer students, students who faced challenges adjusting to law school, and students wanting more upper-class guidance are strongly encouraged to participate.