Professional Responsibility: The Law Firm

Law 266P






This course, which is offered for Professional Responsibility credit, will begin with a review of the rules of professional conduct. It will then turn to an examination of the state of the legal profession, focusing on the organizations which deliver legal services: Large corporate firms; small specialized firms; small general practice firms; corporate house counsel; government employment; prosecutor's offices; Legal Services and Public Defender offices. The centerpiece of the course is in-class interviews with lawyers from different types.

Questions to be considered include (with not all relevant to every organization): The economics of law practice, including the bases for billing, compensation structures, and associates' salaries; firm governance, including decisions on compensation and other fundamental matters, the relationship between partners and associates, and the partnership agreement; the lives of associates, including hours worked, evaluation, expectations concerning new business, and prospects for partnership; the legal work that is done, including its nature and the division of labor between partners and associates; the diversity of the organization; personal/professional balance, including accommodation for family responsibilities; the professional and ethical attitudes of the organization, including lawyer-client relations, pro bono work, and marketing.


UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106

If you are seeing this, you are either using a non-graphical browser or Netscape 4.x (4.7, 4.8, etc.) and this page appears very plain. If you are using a 4.x version of Netscape, this site is fully functional but lacks styles and optimizations available in other browsers. For full functionality, please upgrade your browser to the latest version of Internet Explorer or Firefox.