There was a time when many legal professionals started at a firm or other legal job right out of law school and remained with the same organization for their entire career. That longevity is far less common in recent years. There are many reasons why lawyers may move from one legal position to another over the course of their professional lives and when a lawyer moves from one organization to another, there are legal and ethical issues that emerge. These issues impact not only the transitioning lawyer, but also impact clients and the firm or organization from which the lawyer is departing as well as the firm or organization to which the lawyer is moving. Understanding these issues before making a move can help lawyers and the entities with which they are affiliated avoid serious ethical lapses. This program will focus on the following principal topics.
- The ethical obligation of lawyers and their firms or other legal employers to clients.
- The ethical obligations of departing lawyers to fellow lawyers and the firms/legal employers they are leaving or joining.
- The ethical rules and other standards of expected conduct with respect to transitioning clients from one firm to another at client request.
- The contractual obligations of firms and partners when lawyers leave firm partnerships and how to handle those obligations with civility.
- The ethical and contractual issues when transitioning from private practice to in house positions or the reverse including whether restrictive covenants are enforceable.
- The ethical issues facing lawyers moving to or from government legal positions or to or from judicial officer positions.
Recorded at Essential Ethics in December 2022.