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MSU College of Law



September 7, 2011


Michigan State Law Review Symposium Explores the Changing Role of Lawyers

East Lansing, MI — Distinguished scholars from across the nation and abroad will gather at Michigan State University College of Law this week to discuss whether changes meant to help the legal profession adapt to business realities will erode lawyers’ traditional role as defenders of legal institutions and the rule of law.

The Michigan State Law Review fall symposium titled “Lawyers as Conservators: Will 21st Century Business, Regulatory, and Educational Challenges Destroy the Lawyer’s Role as Guardian of Legal Institutions and the Rule of Law?” will explore the impact of new challenges facing legal education, ethical regulation of lawyers and the legal profession, and the legal business and economic climate on the role of lawyers in society.

The symposium will be held on Thursday, September 8, and Friday, September 9. The event was organized by Daniel Barnhizer, professor of law and The Bradford Stone Faculty Scholar at MSU College of Law, and David Barnhizer, professor of law emeritus at Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

“Lawyers traditionally have an ethical responsibility to protect the law as an institution, but they also represent the only group of people in society who have a tangible economic interest in doing so,” said Professor Daniel Barnhizer. “Our panelists will examine how the rapidly shifting legal climate not only affects lawyers directly but also may have indirect impacts on that traditional role of lawyers in conserving legal institutions and the rule of law.”

The Honorable David W. McKeague of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit will present the welcome address at Thursday’s dinner. A member of the MSU College of Law Board of Trustees since 2006, Judge McKeague has taught Federal Jurisdiction at the Law College since 1998 and frequently lectures in MSU Law’s Geoffrey Fieger Trial Practice Institute.

The keynote speaker at Friday’s luncheon will be Thomas D. Morgan, the Oppenheim Professor of Antitrust and Trade Regulation Law at George Washington University School of Law. The author of widely-used casebooks in antitrust law and professional responsibility, Morgan is one of three legal scholars selected by the American Law Institute to prepare its new Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers, and one of three professors chosen by the American Bar Association to draft its revised Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

Panelists will include:

For more information, visit

Michigan State University College of Law, a leading institution of legal education with a long history of educating practice-ready attorneys, prepares future lawyers to use ethics, ambition, and intellect to solve the world’s problems. As one of only a few private law schools affiliated with a major research university, MSU Law offers comprehensive interdisciplinary opportunities combined with a personalized legal education. After 100 years as a private and independent institution, the affiliation with MSU has put the Law College on an upward trajectory of national and international reputation and reach. MSU Law professors are gifted teachers and distinguished scholars, its curriculum is rigorous and challenging, and its facility is equipped with the latest resources—all affirming MSU Law’s commitment to educating 21st-century lawyers.


320 Law College Building
East Lansing, MI 48824

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