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“‘Professional responsibility’ or ‘legal ethics’ is often then reduced to simple ‘thou shalt not’ catchphrases—with stealing, lying, destroying documents, and creating or appearing to create conflicts of interest the principal headlines.” Perhaps it is no surprise that lawyers, even a few well-intentioned ones, find themselves in ethical quandaries sometimes resulting in public shaming, loss of livelihood and imprisonment when confronting more nuanced “real-world” situations.Certainly, lawyers can always turn to law casebooks for guidance, and the , a guidebook that the American Bar Association created, also helps with concise rules and commentary.
“The concern is that the class won’t represent what actually happens in practice.” But Humphreys, is currently clerking for Judge Pamela Ann Rymer of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, was pleasantly surprised by the Law School’s revamped ethics seminar, “Legal Profession: Shades of Gray,” which launched last fall.
The class, an alternative to standard ethics offerings, uses engaging techniques such as having students act out roles drawn from real-life ethical dilemmas.
“It speaks well for the University of Chicago Law School to take something mandatory and experiment with ways to keep it lively and to prevent it from getting stale,” said Humphreys.
St Albans Crown Court also heard Langdell had told a mental health worker that he had fantasies of cutting a girl's throat, seeing her naked and having sex with her dead body, just nine months before he murdered Miss Locke.
Prosecutor Ann Evans told the court: 'The tragedy of this case is that Katie Locke, like thousands of other young people, having agreed to a date with Carl Langdell accepted what he told her about himself.''He accepts he had behaved like a psychopath and had sexual intercourse with her body and took three pictures.
Like many law students, Brad Humphreys, JD’09, was not eager to take his ethics class, a requirement at all American Bar Association–accredited law schools.
Although the underlying subject is important, in the past such classes have often failed to spark useful discussions.
David Zarfes, Associate Dean of Corporate & Legal Affairs and Schwartz Lecturer at the Law School, led the effort to transform the seminar, something few other schools have tried.
Several have already called Zarfes to inquire about the class’s format and success. The Law School has never sought to teach directly to the MPRE, preferring more thought-provoking course work than basic black-letter law.