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National College Credit Recommendation Service

Board of Regents  |  University of the State of New York

LawShelf Educational Media | Evaluated Learning Experience

Basics of Legal Ethics (GOV-102)


Versions 1 and 2: Various (self-study, self-paced).

Various; distance learning format.

Version 1: June 2021 - May 2022. Version 2: June 2022 - Present. 

Instructional delivery format: 
Online/distance learning
Learner Outcomes: 

Version 1: Upon successful completion of the course, students will be able to: explain what the Model Rules of Professional Conduct are and why they are the most important source of the rules governing lawyers across the country; analyze the attorney-client relationship, how it is formed, and the duties attorneys owe to their clients; describe the attorney’s duties to each of: the court, the opposing parties, other unrepresented parties, and nonparties to the litigation; utilize the conflict of interest rules to recognize situations that could cause conflicting loyalties; navigate the ethical issues related to the business of law; articulate ethical versus non-ethical practices relating to: advertising, soliciting clients, fee structures, and fee-splitting between attorneys and between attorneys and non-attorneys. Version 2: Same as Version 1, expanded to include: analyze the merits of specific legal ethics complaints brought against attorneys based on a variety of ethics rules.


Version 1: This course looks at the responsibilities of legal professionals to defend their clients and to preserve the integrity of the justice system. While the course is mainly based on rules applicable to attorneys, non-attorney legal professionals who work with attorneys are also indirectly bound by them. A non-attorney misfeasance can bring severe consequences for supervising attorneys and organizations. Version 2: Same as Version 1, expanded to include case studies that focus complaints against attorneys on alleged ethics violations, including misleading advertising, violation of confidentiality rules, conflicts of interest and unauthorized practice of law.

Credit recommendation: 

Version 1: In the associate/certificate degree category, 2 semester hours in Legal Ethics, Business Ethics, or Philosophy of Ethics (6/21). Version 2: In the associate/certificate degree category, 3 semester hours in Legal Ethics, Business Ethics, Paralegal Studies elective or Philosophy of Ethics (6/22 administrative review).