The Client Relationship
Law 6022
3 Credits
Enrollment limited to 48 students

This course satisfies the Professional Responsibility requirement and is taken instead of Law 6020.

Clark D. Cunningham

W. Lee Burge Chair inn Law & Ethics
Semester 2016
Monday: 6:00 pm - 8:45 pm

Copyright 2016

Last updated
March 23, 2016


Comments from Fall 2015 course evaluations:
"The most accessible and thought out syllabus I have had in law school."
"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."
"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."
"Very thought-provoking."
"Professor Cunningham's expertise of the course materials meant that his answers to questions were quick, accurate, and his reasoning easy to follow."

The reading assignments are posted on this web site, linked to the syllabus, except for the Materials on Georgia Legal Ethics and the Case Studies which will be passed out in class at no charge.

Constance Baker Motley with James Meredith
  • Exercises (not yet posted)

  • Examination (not yet posted)
  • Videos (not yet posted)



Course Description

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 kind 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. Significant differences between the Georgia and ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct will be covered.  Students will regularly perform lawyering exercises that develop client relationship skills and ethical decision making. They will write one or more papers that apply 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 quizzes and/or a final examination.

This course satisfies the Professional Responsibility requirement and is taken instead of Law 6020.

Students will be assigned to Firms.

ATTENDANCE: Students are expected to attend every class absent good cause for absence. A student may be required to withdraw from the course without credit based upon repeated absence and/or a pattern of being tardy or leaving early without good cause. 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. Although class participation is not formally factored into the course grade, students will be evaluated on their preparation and contribution to firm work.

COURSE GRADE: The course grade will be calculated as follows:
Writing assignment: 40%
Composite score based on in-class quizzes, firm assignments, and evaluation of work in firms: 30%
-- Appealing quiz grades
Final exam: 30%

EXERCISES: There will be a number of exercises. Students must prepare to play an assigned role (lawyer or sometimes a client) for each role play.(A student's performance in a role play is not graded.) A writing assignment based on one or more of these exercises will count as 40% of the final course grade.

CASE STUDIES: The case studies are based on actual cases. Students must be prepared to engage in rigorous class discussion about the details of the cases and to analyze the decisions and actions of the lawyers.

Required Materials

No materials are required for purchase at the bookstore

Duplicated Materials: Distributed in class at no cost
Materials on Georgia Legal Ethics (including the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct)
Case Studies
Frank Armani and the Garrow Case (edited from Tom Alibrandi & Frank Armani, Privileged Information)

General Information (Course Administration)


Clark D. Cunningham
Office: Law School 210
Phone: (404) 413-9168
Fax: (404) 413-9225
Faculty Assistant: Karen P. Butler
    Room 202   (404) 413-9082