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Georgetown Law Library

Legal Ethics Research Guide

This guide focuses on the codes of professional ethics and ethics opinions available from the American Bar Association and various state bar associations. Contents of this guide include Codes of Professional Ethics and ethics opinions.


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For books on legal ethics, try a keyword or subject search in the library catalog using one the following subject headings:

  • Legal Ethics -- United States
  • Judicial Ethics -- United States
  • Attorney and Client -- United States
  • Lawyers -- Malpractice
  • Lawyers -- United States -- Discipline

The following are the most popular treatises & research guides in the field of legal ethics:

ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct

This looseleaf service is an excellent source of primary materials and commentary on legal ethics.

Formerly a print publication, the Manual is now a Legal Ethics Practice Center on Bloomberg Law.  It contains a discussion of a wide variety of issues in legal ethics, citing the Model Code and Model Rules where appropriate. Following the text, there are summaries of and citations to relevant cases. Summaries of recent ethics opinions from state and local bar associations are also included in the "Manual" section. There is a subject index for the text (tab 799) and the ethics opinions (tab 1199). The "Current Reports" section contains a biweekly newsletter that highlights and reviews the latest developments in the field. Georgetown Law Center users may sign up to receive an electronic version of this newsletter.

National Reporter on Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility

The library has access to this looseleaf service both electronically and in print. It collects the full text of each state's ethics code and selected ethics opinions. The most current version is available electronically; the print subscription was canceled in 2008.

Restatement of the Law Governing Lawyers

Prepared by the American Law Institute, the Restatement of the Law, Third: The Law Governing Lawyers, is an attempt to restate the law of legal ethics and is intended to clarify and synthesize common law applicable to the legal profession.

Journal Articles

Many journals publish articles on issues relating to legal ethics. To locate them, use the following journal indexes: