Legal Ethics (LAW-550-007)
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This course is co-taught by adjunct professor's Michael Spekter and Chris Gowen. Both professors founded and managed small law firms. Professor Spekter has practiced Federal Employment Discrimination Law for over 20 years as a solo practitioner in Washington DC. Professor Gowen is the managing partner at Gowen Rhoades Winograd and Silva a DC based firm. Professor Gowen's practice focuses on family law, fraud, consumer protection and criminal matters.
This course is designed to assist second and third year law students in developing the skills they need to start or manage a law firm. The class is both substantive and practical, but will be unlike any other course that you have taken in law school. This course focuses solely on the practical skills and tools a young lawyer needs to either start a law firm on their own or to understand the management of the business side of a firm they join. The skill set students acquire in this class will also enable them to assess their value at a law firm.
Most if not all of you are painfully aware that the job market for lawyers has suffered tremendously in recent years. However, while the supply of lawyers wanting to practice corporate law far outpaces the demand for such lawyers there is a shortage of lawyers able to represent the middle class, who have significant demand for solid affordable legal services. The reading for the class, a book titled Tomorrow’s Lawyers by Richard Suskind focuses on the technological advances law firms in England have implemented to more efficiently serve clients.
With resources like cloud technology, virtual offices and Google plus, a graduating law student or group of students can start a firm with minimal overhead and provide quality affordable services to clients in a range of practices areas. Students will learn to identify those practice areas and learn how to manage risk and comply with the professional responsibility standards established by the ABA.
Students will be placed in “law firm” groups to create a law firm business plan, a partnership agreement and learn to keep time and bill.
Whether you plan to start you own law firm or join an existing firm understanding the business side of the practice of law is essential for young lawyers to determine their value and to understand the amount of work needed to reach certain financial bench marks.
Textbooks and Other Materials
The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.
First Class Readings
Not available at this time.