Stephen Pepper

Emeritus Professor of Law

Professional Biography

Emeritus Professor of Law Stephen L. Pepper has published well-known law review articles on lawyers’ ethics and on the subject of freedom of religion under the First Amendment. Several of his articles on lawyers’ ethics have been included in casebooks and in edited collections of essays. His essay on the underlying theory of the ethical relation between lawyer and client won the Association of American Law Schools’ 1985 Scholarly Papers competition, and his article on lawyers’ ethics and the counseling of clients was the lead article in the May 1995 issue of the Yale Law Journal. A subsequent article, titled “Lawyers’ Ethics in the Gap Between Law and Justice,” deals with counseling clients when lawful conduct may also be ethically problematic. His most recent works are a book chapter providing practical guidance to working executives and professionals on ethics and the exercise of moral vision, an essay on integrating morality and law in day-to-day legal practice in the 2012 volume of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, and an article on three underlying conceptual dichotomies in lawyer’ ethics, published in the 2015 volume of the same journal.

Professor Pepper graduated from Stanford University “with great distinction.” His law degree is from Yale Law School, where he won first place in the Thurman Arnold appellate advocacy competition and was a finalist in the Cardozo brief writing competition. He practiced law for four years with the Denver firm of Holland & Hart.

Professor Pepper has given presentations on lawyers’ ethics and on the First Amendment at numerous academic conferences and meetings of practicing lawyers. He has taught first-year Torts course, the required Legal Profession course, and a seminar on professional ethics. The students at the College of Law have selected him “Professor of the Year” four times.

Five of his articles have been translated into Japanese by Professor Hiroshi Sumiyoshi and published as a monograph under the title The Lawyer’s Amoral Ethical Role, Counseling and the Responsibility of the Client (Chuo University, 2000).

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  • JD, 1973, Yale University
  • AB, 1969, Stanford University

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