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We’re all familiar with lawyer ethics but did you know it’s also an area attorneys specialize in? This fascinating area of law helps lawyers navigate through thorny situations (usually involving violation of the rules of conduct such as confidentiality, privilege, or conflicts of interest) to avoid having their law license suspended or revoked. You could find yourself advising attorneys or working for a state agency prosecuting attorneys before a disciplinary board. Since this is a niche area, lawyers who practices in it are often sought after for their expertise as an expert on panels, as authors, and helping jurisdictions review and update their rules of professional conduct. It’s a great fit for someone who likes the flexibility of doing both litigation and policy work.
Lucian T. Pera is a partner in Adams and Reese LLP, whose practice includes commercial litigation, media law, and the representation of lawyers, law firms, and others on issues of legal ethics and lawyer professional responsibility. He was a member of the ABA “Ethics 2000” Commission, which rewrote the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and chaired the Tennessee Bar Association committee that led to the adoption of significantly revised TN ethics rules patterned after the Model Rules.
Theresa (“Terri”) Gronkiewicz is Senior Counsel at the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility (CPR) where she advises on ABA policy, develops programs and frequently speaks on issues concerning ethics, professionalism, lawyer and judicial regulation and professional responsibility. Her career began at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) where she investigated and prosecuted lawyer disciplinary matters; then in private practice for 23 years, as Of Counsel to a small law firm, representing judges, lawyers and law students in various ethics, disciplinary and character and fitness matters.