Professional Responsibility and Legal Ethics Research

November 2015
Updated by Paul Hellyer

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Some resources on this page are subscription databases that require a W&M ID and password for off-campus access.  

Lexis and Westlaw require individual IDs and passwords for both off-campus and on-campus access.

Library Materials

Library Catalog

To search for books, journals, and audiovisual materials held by William & Mary libraries, use the online catalog.

Search Tips:

  • Subject Queries: 'legal ethics' or 'judicial ethics'
  • Individual jurisdictions can be searched, e.g. 'legal ethics' and Virginia

To search for materials from other libraries, use the Worldcat database.

Shelf Browsing

To browse the library's shelves for books on professional responsibility and legal ethics, look in or around call numbers KF305 or, for judicial ethics, KF8779.  Some relevant books are on reserve.

Ethics Rules & Opinions


Model Code of Judicial Conduct (ABA)
     Annotated: KF8779 .A96 2011 (STACKS)
     Unannotated: KF306 .A755 (RESERVE)  Westlaw

Model Rules for Lawyer Disciplinary Enforcement (ABA)
     KF308 .A943 2007 (RESERVE)

Model Rules of Professional Conduct (ABA)
     Annotated: KF305 .A23 2015 (RESERVE)  Westlaw 
     Legislative History: KF306 .L45 2013 (STACKS)

ABA Ethics Opinions  Westlaw   Lexis (formal ops.)   Lexis (informal ops.)  

ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct (includes state, local and ABA ethics opinions)
     KF305 .A8A4 (STACKS) (library has 1984-2005 in print)  BNA

Compendium of Client Protection Rules (ABA)
     KF314 .C45 C66 2011 (STACKS)

The Law Governing Lawyers: National Rules, Standards, Statutes and State Lawyer Codes
KF306 .M38 2012 (RESERVE)

State Ethics Opinions--Combined  Westlaw

Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct
     In Virginia Rules Annotated KFV2431 .A2 (VA. COLLECTION) • State Bar Web site
     Westlaw (in Va. Statutes and Court Rules)

Virginia State Bar Ethics Opinions
     State Bar Web site 

Other States
Check Lexis, Westlaw, the state code in print, or the Web sites of the state bar association and/or state court system.

Treatises, Journals & Other Secondary Sources

Selected Treatises & Restatement

ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct  BNA

James J. Alfini, Judicial Conduct and Ethics (5th ed. 2013)
     KF8779 .S47 2013 (STACKS)  Lexis

John M. Burkoff, Criminal Defense Ethics: Law & Liability (2nd ed. 2010 & annual supp.)  Westlaw

Lawrence Fox & Susan J. Martyn, The Ethics of Representing Organizations (annual editions)  Lexis

Bennett L. Gershman, Prosecutorial Misconduct (annual editions)
     KF9640 .G46 (STACKS)  Westlaw

John Wesley Hall, Jr., Professional Responsibility in Criminal Defense Practice (3rd ed. 2005 & annual supp.)
     KF306 .H25 2005 (STACKS)  Westlaw

Geoffrey C. Hazard, The Law of Lawyering (4th ed. 2015 & annual supp.)
     KF306 .H33 2015 (STACKS)

Gregory P. Joseph, Sanctions: the Federal Law of Litigation Abuse (5th ed. 2013)
     KF8887 .J66 2013 (STACKS)

Joseph F. Lawless, Prosecutorial Misconduct (4th ed. 2008 & annual supp.)  Lexis

Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers (2000)
     KF395 .A2 L383 2000 (STACKS)  Westlaw

Douglas R. Richmond et al, Professional Responsibility in Litigation (2011)
     KF306 .R53 2011 (STACKS)

Ronald D. Rotunda & John S. Dzienkowski, Legal Ethics: The Lawyer's Deskbook on Professional Responsibility (annual editions)
     KF306 .R67 (STACKS)  Westlaw

Periodical Index


LegalTrac is a database that indexes articles from law reviews, bar association publications, legal magazines and legal newspapers.

Coverage: 1980-present.

Subject Queries:

  • Legal ethics
  • Conflicts of interest (Lawyers)
  • Legal etiquette
  • Judicial ethics 

Selected Periodicals on Professional Responsibility & Legal Ethics

Cardozo Public Law, Policy & Ethics Journal
      Westlaw  Lexis  HeinOnline

Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics
     IN LAW PERIODICAL STACKS  Westlaw  Lexis  HeinOnline

Journal of the Legal Profession

Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy
     IN LAW PERIODICAL STACKS  Westlaw  HeinOnline

Free Web Sites

American Bar Association: Center for Professional Responsibility
Includes reports, surveys, news on recent developments, abstracts of the ABA's ethics opinions, links to state ethics rules, and other resources on legal ethics.

Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers
"An independent national organization of lawyers concentrating in the fields of professional responsibility and legal ethics."  -- From the website

Center on Professionalism
From the University of South Carolina School of Law.  Has a bibliography of articles, reports, initiatives and other resources on a variety of legal ethics topics.

The Ethics Guru: Legal Ethics Blog
From James M. McCauley, Ethics Counsel, Virginia State Bar. A good source for recent developments in Virginia legal ethics.

Judicial Ethics Forum
A blog on judicial ethics, discipline and disqualification.

Legal Ethics Forum
A popular blog on legal ethics authored by several law professors.
A blog focusing on the ethical issues related to the legal profession's use of technology.

National Organization of Bar Counsel
NOBC's members enforce legal ethics rules. Their website has links to state disciplinary procedure rules, professional conduct rules, ethics opinions and other legal resources.

Virginia State Bar
Includes Virginia's Rules of Professional Conduct and advisory opinions issued by the Standing Committee on Legal Ethics, plus other information about attorney discipline and ethics in Virginia.