Faculty Profiles

Sharon Dolovich

Sharon Dolovich

Professor of Law
B.A. Queen's University, 1989
Ph.D. Pol. Theory, Cambridge University, 1994
J.D. Harvard, 1998
UCLA Faculty Since 2000

LAW 312 - Professional Responsibility: Ethics of the Legal Profession

Lawyers wear many hats. They are representatives of clients, officers of the court, members of the legal profession, and (as the ABA puts it), "public citizens having special responsibility for the quality of justice." They are also individuals who have their own values and commitments, as well as the need to earn a living. The practice of law thus continually creates dilemmas for lawyers. What to do when role demands conflict? This course will consider the nature and scope of lawyers' professional and ethical obligations. We will examine the rules of professional responsibility as well as legal ethics more broadly, while keeping in mind the structure and politics of the legal profession. Topics include the duty of confidentiality, the regulatory structure of the bar (including admissions and discipline), conflicts of interest, the choice of clients, billing pressures, the discovery process, and the structure of legal education. Particular attention will be paid throughout the course to the idea of zealous advocacy, to the pressures of practice in institutional settings, especially for junior lawyers, and to the moral psychology of the legal profession.  There will be a take-home final examination, as well as an ungraded but mandatory 2-3 page reflection paper due midway through the semester. Students will be expected to come to class, be prepared for class, and to participate in class discussion. Use of laptops is not permitted in this class.