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Course Details

Professional Responsibility (Hodge)

Spring 2024   LAW 555-002  

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Additional Information

Skills Training
Other Professional Skills:

20% Participation,
80% Exam,
Other (Students with strong class participation will be eligible for a step increase in grade if their exam result is on the cusp of a break in grade distribution.)

Short Answer,
Take Home,

Satisfies Senior Writing Requirement



Class meets in person.

Course Continuity
Students are encouraged to stay home if you are ill or experience flu-like symptoms. If you miss a class for any reason, it is still your responsibility to make up the work missed.

I offer the following to students who miss class due to illness:

- Class sessions are regularly recorded. I will make these recordings routinely available on the course site to everyone in the class.

- I will make PowerPoint slides or other class materials routinely available on the course site to everyone in the class.

Meeting Times/Location
M 6:40PM - 8:30PM
Gittis Hall 213



This course is about the ethical duties imposed upon prosecutors and defenders in criminal cases as governed by the United States Constitution and the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. This course will examine the special duties that are assigned to prosecutors under the Model Rules and also examine current trends and issues that can create ethical dilemmas for prosecutors and defenders when making strategic decisions on how to try their case. This course will incorporate present day examples of what questions need to be inherently asked when handling a case and invite students to analyze the terms “justice” and “fairness”. Questions such as: what defense to put forth, maintaining confidentiality, zealous advocacy, the role of the grand jury, how to communicate with vested parties (client, victim, family members, law enforcement, witnesses and the Court), prosecutorial discretion, the role of the media in criminal cases, plea negotiations and how prosecutors and defenders engage with one another. You will hear from speakers who will offer practical, real-life examples of the role of prosecutors and defenders in trying a criminal case. Instruction and discussions will touch on both the state and federal criminal justice system and advocacy in both arenas. The course will also address the importance of mental health and self-care in the legal profession and the unique issues that prosecutors and defenders must face and balance on a daily basis. This course is intended to invite discussion. It is welcomed and expected that students will bring their diverse background and experiences to the class and will apply it to the readings and other course materials. Student participation will allow robust discussion and exploration of opinions and reactions which will enhance what is learned in the course.

Course Concentrations

Professional Responsibility and Ethics Learning outcomes: Demonstrate an understanding of how the law affects, and is affected by, the individual course topic; Perform legal analysis in the context of the individual course topic; Communicate effectively on the legal and other aspects of the individual course topic; Demonstrate the ability to use other disciplines to analyze legal issues relevant to the individual course topic, including economics, philosophy, and sociology, as appropriate.


"Model Rules of Professional Conduct" by ABA
Edition: 2023 Edition
Publisher: ABA
ISBN: 9781639052998

"“Do No Wrong -- Ethics for Prosecutors and Defenders" by Peter A. Joy, Kevin C. McMunigal
Edition: 10/16/2009
Publisher: ABA
ISBN: 9781604422696