The Client Relationship
Law 6022
3 Credits
Enrollment limited to 25 students

This course satisfies the Professional Responsibility requirement and therefore can be taken instead of Law 6020.

Clark D. Cunningham

W. Lee Burge Chair in Law & Ethics
Spring Semester 2024
Wednesday: 6:00 pm - 8:45 pm

Fall Semester 2024
Monday: 6:00 pm - 8:45 pm

The course grade will be calculated as follows:
40%: Paper: 6-8 double-spaced pages (See Learning Objectives, below)
30%: Composite score based on in-class quizzes, assignments, bonus points and class participation (See Firms and Quizzes, below)
15%- Long Quiz 1 (closed book)
15% - Long Quiz 2 (closed book)
No final examination
Course administered on TWEN (The West Education Network)
All Course Materials are distributed through the TWEN website or in class at no cost to students.

Comments from course evaluations:
"I am very glad I took the course. Now that I have taken it, I would not want to practice law without it."
"The most accessible and thought out syllabus I have had in law school."
"unique approach to professional responsibility as a core value for lawyers made this course very intriguing"
"engaging materials and group activities that made us think and want to talk about the topic"
 "The profession would be improved by having more people take a course like this that goes deeper than rote memory of the rules that govern it."
"The course was thought-provoking and put the rules of ethics and professionalism in proper and helpful context."
"The firms [are] unique to the typical law school classroom atmosphere. Made people work with each other and that's a skill that law school just simply ignores."
"You have the opportunity to learn from your classmates while also building relationships"
"He makes coming to class at night after a long day at work enjoyable."
"The case studies provide illustration of real-life application of ethics rules."
"Professor Cunningham's expertise of the course materials meant that his answers to questions were quick, accurate, and his reasoning easy to follow."
"very clear communicator ... provides real world examples ... shares great stories"

The reading assignments are posted on the course TWEN web site, linked to the syllabus posted and updated on TWEN.

Constance Baker Motley with James Meredith

Spring 2024 syllabus



Course Description

            The course is taught using a TWEN (The West Education Network) website rather than through iCollege. Registered students will be automatically added to the TWEN course using GSU registration information; students can not directly add themselves to TWEN course site.
            The course is designed to use a variety of approaches for interactive learning, including in-class quizzes, discussion problems based on real cases, simulation exercises, and forum discussions within the student’s “law firm.”

This course satisfies the Professional Responsibility requirement and therefore can be taken instead of Law 6020.The course can also be taken in addition to Law 6020.

: In this course students will learn how to develop effective and ethical relationships with clients, become competent in recognizing moral dilemmas in the real-life situations encountered by lawyers, and begin to acquire the professional judgment necessary to resolve the kinds of complex problems that arise in legal practice.   Students will become skilled in interpreting and applying the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct and will understand the attorney discipline system in Georgia as well as basic common law principles arising from malpractice and attorney disqualification decisions. In order to put student learning in the context of real-life law practice, the course is taught primarily from the standpoint of the Georgia rules and Georgia law. However, students will still be well-prepared to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) which tests the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct because significant differences between the Georgia and ABA Model Rules will be covered.  Students will regularly perform lawyering exercises that develop client relationship skills and ethical decision making. They will write one paper that applies what they have learned to analyze videotaped lawyer-client meetings and propose what they would have done in the situation. There will also be short in-class quizzes and two in-class one-hour, closed-book multiple-choice quizzes. There is no final examination.

ATTENDANCE: Students are expected to submit quizzes and other assignments when due and attend every class absent good cause A student may be required to withdraw from the course without credit based upon repeated failure to submit assignments when due absence and/or a pattern of not attending class. If a student fails to submit a quiz or other assignment by the due date, it is the student's responsibility to notify the instructor promptly (and preferably before due date) if the student wishes permission to submit the quiz or other assignment after the deadline. Note that late submission will not be permitted after the instructor posts on the course website annotated correct quiz answers or other feedback for an assignment. Students will also be evaluated on their contribution to firm work and that evaluation may be factored into the composite quiz score for the semester.

COURSE GRADE: The course grade is calculated as follows:

40%: Paper: 6-8 double-spaced pages
30%: Composite score based on in-class quizzes, assignments, bonus points and class participation (See Firms and Quizzes, below)

15%- Long Quiz 1 (closed book)
15% - Long Quiz 2 (closed book)
No final examination

The College of Law mandatory mean for required courses applies to this course. Therefore, the class mean (i.e. the average grade) must fall between 2.9 and 3.1.

FIRMS: In the second week of the semester students will be assigned to a team or "firm" of 4-5 students, through a transparent selection process designed to produce diverse groups of teams. These teams will sit together for all classes. On quiz days, after individual responses are tallied online (see Quizzes, below), for some questions the instructor may set aside time for discussion in the firm after which individual students will be able to respond again, and the second answer will be counted along with the first. Studies of team-based-learning indicate that effectively functioning teams will usually outperform individual student scores. Other tasks will regularly be assigned for teamwork during class time. The student’s quiz score total for the semester will include bonus points reflecting the quality of the firm’s work on some of these tasks and may include a component based on the quality of one or more peer assessment exercise for the firm.

QUIZZES:    An important method for learning course content is the system of in-class quizzes, which are usually open-book. Quiz questions are displayed one-at-a-time and students provide a graded answer on their smart phones using the Slido software. Cumulative results for the entire class can thus be immediately displayed after each question. At the instructor’s option, students will be given an opportunity to discuss the question in their firms and then take the question again using Slido. If this option is taken, both the first and second responses count toward the cumulative semester quiz score. The correct answer, often developed through class discussion, is revealed for each question. Possible quiz questions are posted in advance of class and linked to the syllabus, although usually there are additional questions in class not posted in advance. Students are permitted to discuss the posted questions before class with other firm members.. If a student is absent or late when a quiz is given, it is the student's responsibility to notify the instructor promptly (and preferably before class) if the student wishes to take the quiz as a make-up; such a student must provide in writing an explanation of the good cause and make arrangements with the instructor to take the quiz, which must normally be completed before the next class.

EXERCISES:             There will be a number of in-class role playing exercises. Students must prepare to play an assigned role (lawyer or sometimes a client) for each role play unless they request an alternate assignment on the Student Questionnaire completed for Class One. (An individual student's performance in a role play is not graded.) The paper based on one of these exercises will count as 40% of the final course grade.


Required Materials

No materials are required for purchase at the bookstore

Course Materials: Distributed through the TWEN website or in class at no cost.
Materials on Georgia Legal Ethics (including the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct)

General Information (Course Administration)


Clark D. Cunningham
Office: Law School 210
Phone: (404) 413-9168
Fax: (404) 413-9225
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