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Philip B. Blank Memorial Lecture on Attorney Ethics

December 3, 2013, 5:00 pm, Moot Court Room

Deborah L. Rhode
Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law, Director of the Center on the Legal Profession, Director of the Program in Law and Social Entrepreneurship

Crisis in the Profession


In the current legal marketplace, competition and commercialization are on the rise, while civility and collegiality appear headed in the opposite direction. Professor Rhode argues that lawyers, both individually and collectively, need to develop more constructive responses to these changes. In “Crisis in the Profession,” she will review recent changes in the structure of legal practice that place stress on the lives of lawyers and some of the causes and consequences of recent increases in the competitiveness of practice, the decline in jobs, and the escalation of billable hours, and will discuss strategies for change.


Professor Rhode is the Ernest W. McFarland Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. She received her J.D. from Yale University Law School in 1977 and B.A. in Political Science from Yale University Summa Cum Laude and with Honors in 1974. 

She is also the Director of the Center on the Legal Profession, and the Director of the Program in Law and Social Entrepreneurship at Stanford University. Professor Rhode has written more than 20 books including “Women and Leadership: The State of Play and Strategies for Change” and “Moral Leadership: The Theory and Practice of Power, Judgment, and Policy.”


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.


March 18, 2013
Renée Knake
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"



November 10, 2011
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
Carrie Menkel-Meadow
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
Stephen Gillers
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