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Legal Ethics Schmooze Brings Scholars Together in Denver

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Sturm College of Law

Feature  •
Law & Policy  •
2023 Legal Ethics Schmooze

What, one might ask, is a legal ethics schmooze? The Schmooze is a bi-annual opportunity for legal ethics scholars from around the country to gather, present papers, receive feedback, and hang out. The gathering is relatively small to maximize the quality of feedback and time for interaction. According to Eli Wald, the Charles W. Delaney Jr. Professor of Law at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, “the Legal Ethics Schmooze is one of my favorite scholarly events. It uniquely combines discussions of cutting-edge scholarship and networking – the opportunity to spend quality time with colleagues.”

Celebrating its 10th year, the Legal Ethics Schmooze was hosted by Professor Wald at the Sturm College of Law from May 25-27. Past hosts have included Professors Bruce Green and Russ Pearce at Fordham Law School and the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics, the late Professor Deborah Rhode at Stanford law School and the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession, Professor Scott Cummings at UCLA School of Law and the Project on Legal Ethics and the Profession, and Professors Bryant Garth, Ann Southworth and Swethaa Ballakrishnen at UC Irvine Law School and the Center for Empirical Research on the Legal Profession.

The Schmooze, notes Wald, “brings together the leading experts in legal ethics, the law governing lawyers and the legal profession to discuss the hottest issues that matter to judges, lawyers, clients, the legal profession and the public.” This year’s papers and presentations explored topics such as technology and AI; crime and punishment; the rules of professional conduct and regulations in the 21st century; ethics and the judiciary; and legal ethics, the rule of law and justice.

Event participants sitting around a table

The Schmooze featured 20 scholars from across the country, representing law schools from Seattle to New York. The Sturm College of Law, long committed to the study of legal ethics, was represented by Professor Joyce Sterling, a nationally known sociologist of the legal profession; Professor Steve Pepper, a leading legal ethics theorist; Associate Dean for Faculty Scholarship Nancy Leong, the William M. Beaney Memorial Research Chair; Professor Rebecca Aviel, an award-winning legal ethics scholar; Assistant Professor John Bliss; and Professor Wald.