MSU College of Law

Legal Ethics Courses

MSU Law offers an array of required and elective courses on legal ethics and the legal profession. Students who want to focus on a particular topic related to legal ethics and the legal profession can to do so as a directed study. 

Professional Responsibility. A course designed to acquaint the law student with many of the obligations owed by the lawyer, both individually and as a member of the legal profession, to the society in which he/she lives. In addition to a discussion of ethical problems involved in the practice of law, an overview of all phases of the profession will be undertaken, including disciplinary proceedings, the functions of Bar organizations and unauthorized practice.

Lawyer Ethics and Regulation in a Technology-Driven World. This course prepares the law student to address the many obligations owed by the lawyer, both individually and as a member of the legal profession, to the society in which he/she lives in the context of a technology-driven world. An overview of all phases of the profession will be undertaken, including disciplinary proceedings, the functions of bar organizations and unauthorized practice. Students will also consider the unique professional conduct concerns and opportunities presented by technology in law practice.

Entrepreneurial Lawyering. This course helps students understand the economic pressures, technological changes, and globalization facing the legal profession in the 21st century, and to assist students in successfully navigating their legal career given these challenges. The course explores the concept of a virtual law practice as well as the use of technology and cloud-computing in building a law practice; free and low-cost resources and tools will be shared that will help the entrepreneur-minded student identify ways to leverage leading-edge technology to defray start-up costs associated with launching a practice and to control overhead. Ethics, licensing, and malpractice issues will also be discussed. The course will be particularly useful for students who are contemplating solo practice, consulting, or engaging in an entrepreneurial venture, as well as those who are considering non-traditional uses for their law degree.

Delivering Legal Services: New Legal Landscape. This course is intended as an introductory level survey of legal service operations. It will provide (1) an overview of the prevailing legal service delivery processes as of the late 20th century, (2) an introduction to legal service delivery processes that have been introduced since then, and (3) a brief projection of where legal service delivery processes may evolve in the next decade. The goals are to (1) provide a theoretical context students can use to understand existing processes and learn new processes throughout their careers, (2) build basic skills in collecting data and using metrics, project management, and process excellence, (3) expose students to developing technologies, and (4) examine where legal service operations is heading over the next decade.

Law Practice Management. This course is designed to provide an overview of the issues involved in managing a law office. These include forms of practice (partnership, professional corporation, sole practitioners), personnel issues, physical requirements, computers, financial management, practice development and ethical issues. Also covered are various law office systems: docket, tickler, trust accounting, timekeeping, etc. It is recommended that students take the Professional Responsibility course before or concurrently with Law Practice Management.