Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Posted by Alan Childress
Laura Rovner (U. Denver--Law) has posted to SSRN her article, "The Unforeseen Ethical Ramifications of Classroom Faculty Participation in Law School Clinics." It will be published in the law review of the University of Cincinnati, vol. 75, in 2007. Here is the abstract:
The past decade has seen an enormous expansion in both the types of clinical programs offered by law schools and the role of clinical education in the law school curriculum. With this development has come greater involvement on the part of classroom faculty in clinical programs, who are increasingly collaborating with clinic faculty and students in clinic cases in a variety of ways. In this article, Professor Rovner asserts that such collaborations, as desirable as they may be for the practical and pedagogical benefits they offer, also may present significant ethical issues for faculty, students and clients.
This article analyzes some of the most common professional responsibility issues that may develop when classroom faculty work with law school clinics, focusing in particular on the areas of unauthorized practice of law, confidentiality and conflicts of interest. In the article, Professor Rovner identifies the multilayered ethical considerations that arise from classroom faculty involvement in clinics, develops a systematic taxonomy that promotes a better understanding of these concerns, and proposes a series of best practices that law schools might adopt to address, and perhaps prevent, ethical violations from arising.