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Researching Legal Ethics & Professional Responsibility

ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct

The ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (also available on Westlaw and Lexis)

ABA Model Code of Judicial Conduct

The ABA's Model Code of Judicial Conduct is the judicial equivalent of the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility, and most states have adopted it in the same way as they have the Rules. The full text of the Code is available on the ABA's website and in the major subscription databases.

Legislative History of Model Rules

Understanding how and why a standard came to be as it is today can be the key to how it should be interpreted. To assist researchers in finding the history of professional rules, the ABA has published a brief article detailing the development of legal ethics standards in the United States. Additional information about the history of legal ethics can be found by following the links in the article or visiting the ABA's Model Rules page.

In addition, the resources below analyze the legislative history of the ABA Model Rules. Legislative history refers to the progress of a statute or rule through the legislative process and to the documents that are created during that process. Attorneys, judges, and others often turn to these documents to learn why legislative bodies enacted a particular law or to aid in the interpretation of a law. Both of these books can be found in the library.

Code Compilations

These print compilations of various model and state codes are available in the Law Library at the call numbers listed.

  • ​​​Model Code of Professional Responsibility, Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Other Selected Standards Including California and New York Rules on Professional ResponsibilityKF305 .A29 M63 (2014)