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Philip B. Blank Memorial Lecture on Attorney Ethics
March 18, 2013, 4:00 pm, Room C-202
Associate Professor, Michigan State University College of Law; Co-director of the Kelley Institute of Ethics and the Legal Profession
“Democratizing the Delivery of Legal Services”
RSVP to Brenda Thornton: firstname.lastname@example.org or 914.422.4123
One of the most significant problems faced by the legal profession in the 21st century is the ineffective delivery of legal services. Millions in need of legal representation are unable to afford a lawyer and thousands of lawyers are unemployed. We are desperate for a solution to democratize access to the law through efficient and affordable delivery of legal services. Law scholars and economists have argued over the years that nonlawyer ownership and investment offer a solution to this problem. Yet professional conduct rules in all 50 states ban this sort of external funding. In her award-winning article, Democratizing the Delivery of Legal Services, Professor Knake argues that these professional conduct rules are problematic not only for pragmatic reasons, but also because they compromise important First Amendment interests.
Professor Knake (pronounced "kah-NAH-kee") joined the Michigan State University Law College Faculty in 2006. She received her J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School. At the Law College she co-directs the Kelley Institute of Ethics and the Legal Profession. In 2012, she co-founded ReInvent Law, a law laboratory devoted to technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship in legal services.
Professor Knake's scholarly interests include intersections between the First Amendment and the law of lawyering, innovation in the delivery of legal services, deregulation of the profession in the United Kingdom, and the portrayal of lawyers in literature and media. Most recently she has turned her energies to consider ways that law, technology, and social media can democratize the delivery of legal services and enhance the practice of law.
She frequently speaks nationally and internationally about her research, and she has published numerous articles related to these topics, including Democratizing the Delivery of Legal Services, 73 Ohio State Law Journal (2012); Attorney Advice and the First Amendment, 68 Washington & Lee Law Review 639 (2011); and The Supreme Court's Increased Attention to the Law of Lawyering: Mere Coincidence or Something More? 59 American University Law Review 1499 (2010).
Professor Knake's teaching and scholarship are inspired by her years of law practice. Before her academic career, she worked as an associate at firms in Chicago and Richmond, Virginia, where she specialized in commercial litigation, telecommunications, and labor/employment law.
The Philip B. Blank Memorial Lecture on Attorney Ethics was established by the family, friends and colleagues of the late Philip B. Blank, Associate Dean for External Affairs and Professor of Law at Pace University School of Law. In honor of Dean Blank's commitment to legal ethics, the Blank Lecture has presented distinguished members of the legal community recognized for their leadership in the area of attorney ethics and practice.
Dean Blank was a member of the Law School's faculty from 1979 until his death in 1989. He taught courses in Professional Responsibility, Wills, Estate Planning and Legal Methods. He is remembered as an outstanding teacher of the law and a caring mentor to his students. A model citizen of Westchester County, Dean Blank served as Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of Mount Pleasant and held leadership positions in the Westchester County and White Plains Bar Associations.
PAST BLANK LECTURES
Justice Elizabeth Lacy
Senior Justice on the Virginia Supreme Court
“20/20 Vision for 2020 Ethics.”
October 13, 2010
Stephen J. Friedman, seventh president of Pace University, served for three years as dean of Pace University School of Law, and president of Pace University Board of Trustees.
“The Ethical Imperatives for Lawyers.”
November 11, 2009
Robert H. Mundheim, Esq.
Of Counsel to Shearman & Sterling, LLP, in New York City, and former Dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School
"Enduring Ethics, Changing Ethics Rules: Is there a Contradiction?"
January 27, 2009
Alvin J. Bronstein, Esq.
Pace Law School Practitioner-in-Residence
"Ethical Obligations When the Client is a Worthy Cause."
March 4, 2008
Steven C. Krane, Esq.
Partner, Proskauer Rose LLP
"Taking the Red Pill: A Search for the Intersection Between Ethics and Morality"
March 5, 2007
Jonathan G. Blattmachr
Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP
"Suicide of the Guardians: The Executive Branch, Tax Regulations, and the Attorney-Client Relationship"
February 28, 2006
Louis A. Craco
Chairman, New York State Judicial Institute on Professionalism in the Law
"Carpe Diem: An Opportunity to Reclaim Lawyers' Independence"
September 21, 2004
Robert J. Grey Jr.
American Bar Association President
"Legal Ethics in the 21st Century"
November 12, 2003
James B. Comey
United States Attorney, Southern District of New York
"Fighting Terrorism and Protecting Civil Liberties"
January 22, 2003
Stanley L. Cohen, '83
Attorney of Law
"Deconstructing Ethical Considerations 2-26, 2-27, 2-28, and 2-29: A textual and historical analysis"
October 11, 2001
Professor William H. Simon
Saunders Professor of Law, Stanford University
Visiting Professor, Columbia University
"The Role of the Public Official's Lawyer: A Case Study from the Clinton Era"
October 11, 2000
Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
"Private Lives and Professional Responsibilities? The Relationship of Personal Morality to Lawyering and Professional Ethics"
November 9, 1999
The Honorable Roger J. Miner
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
"Professional Responsibility in Appellate Practice: A View from the Bench"
April 16, 1998
Ronald K. Noble
Professor of Law, New York University School of Law; Former Under Secretary for Enforcement, U.S. Department of the Treasury
"Investigating Leaks: A Necessary Undertaking for Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr"
April 3, 1997
Bill Wagner, Esq.
Past President, Association of Trial Lawyers of America; Senior Partner, Wagner, Vaughan & McLaughlin, P.A.
"Legal Ethics in a Confrontational Society"
March 28, 1996
Monroe H. Freedman
Howard Lichtenstein Distinguished Professor of Legal Ethics, Hofstra University School of Law
"Ethical Obligations of Prosecutors in Death Penalty Cases"
April 27, 1995
Linda Fairstein, Esq.
Chief, Sex Crimes Prosecution Unit, New York County District Attorney's Office
"Sex Crimes and the Media"
April 5, 1994
The Honorable E. Leo Milonas
Chief Administrative Judge, State of New York
"Matrimonial Lawyers and Ethical Problems"
Nov. 19, 1992
The Honorable Robert Johnson
Bronx County District Attorney
April 8, 1992
Professor of Law, New York University School of Law
"The Owl and the Fox: The Transformation of Legal Work in a Commodity Culture"
May 3, 1990
The Honorable Guy J. Mangano
Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, 2d Dept.
Louis Gerstman, Esq.
Chief Law Clerk, Appellate Division, 2d Dept.
Gary L. Casella, Esq.
Chief Counsel, Grievance Committee, Ninth Judicial District
Jerome Karp, Esq.
Attorney to attorneys in disciplinary hearings