Jack Marshall

The ProEthics Approach To Continuing Legal Education

A Unique Approach

Nothing is more integral to the role of attorney than ethics, and no subject elicits more resentment and boredom from attorneys when it is the topic of a seminar….unless, of course, it is a ProEthics seminar. Ours are different, routinely eliciting attorney evaluations that  say “The best ethics seminar I have ever attended!” and “I didn’t think a legal ethics seminar could hold my interest, nut this one did!”

ProEthics has developed a new approach to teaching legal ethics, designed to stimulate and engage while sacrificing nothing in substance and content.

Field tested before thousands of practitioners, the ProEthics approach uses humor, entertainment, and interactive techniques to ensure that participants remain focused and involved. The Rules of Professional Responsibility are combined with basic ethical principles to address difficult hypothetical dilemmas, usually derived from actual cases. The courses give participants a solid foundation in ethical decision-making to complement those tools, enhancing sensitivity to ethical issues as well as awareness of how to avoid problems before they arise.

The Method

Each seminar begins with an introduction to the various ethical systems that must be part of the attorney’s decision-making process. There is special emphasis on the inevitable conflicts among these systems, as well as the conflicts between various jurisdictions’ l ethics rules. Using analogies from popular culture, sports, psychology and history, the ProEthics facilitator places the professional rules in the context of real life considerations and explores various methods of applying them.

The main body of each  course is composed of 5 to 10 complex hypotheticals, some read aloud, sometimes dramatized by the facilitator or others. Typically each covers multiple ethical issues. The participants then answer multiple choice questions to stimulate discussion. During the course of the debate, the facilitator examines the relevant rules as well as the particular jurisdiction’s legal ethics opinions, court opinions, and germane treaties and law review articles.

The Options

  • The seminars are adaptable to bar association CLE offerings,  convention-sized audiences and smaller in-house law firm, government agency or corporate law department programs.
  • ProEthics will customize hypotheticals or create new ones to cover issues that are of special interest to a particular group, practice area or region.
  • If desired, seminars can be customized for a panel and facilitator format.
  • All or some of the hypotheticals can be presented as humorous skits by The Ethical Arts Players, or with special arrangements, by local volunteers or actors. [Note: Additional fees required]
  • Each program is available in two, three and four hour versions, as well as full-day programs  for retreats and workshops.
  • Fees: ProEthics has a flexible  fee structure that may take into consideration the following factors:
  1. Size and type of organization
  2. Non profit status
  3. Need for new, special or customized material
  4. Size of group
  5. Length of program
  6. Video
  7. Discounts for multiple programs or repeat  programs on the same trip
  8. Travel time required
  9. Use of The Ethical Arts Players
  10. Available budget
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