Professional Responsibility and Legal Ethics Research

November 2022
Updated by Paul Hellyer

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Access to subscription databases

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.

Introductory Sources

Legal Ethics in a Nutshell (5th ed. 2018)

KF306 .R68 2018 (RESERVE)  West Academic

Mastering Professional Responsibility (2nd ed. 2015)
KF306 .G544 2015 (RESERVE)

Understanding Lawyers' Ethics (5th ed. 2016)
KF306 .F76 2016 (RESERVE)

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
    • 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 2016 (2nd floor)
     Unannotated: KF306 .A755 2010 (RESERVE)  Westlaw / ABA Website

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

Model Rules of Professional Conduct (ABA)
     Annotated: KF305 .A23 2019 (RESERVE)  Westlaw 
     Unannotated: KF305 .A22 (RESERVE)  ABA Website
     Legislative History: KF306 .L45 2013 (2nd floor)

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 (2nd floor) (library has 1984-2005 in print)  Bloomberg Law

Compendium of Client Protection Rules (ABA)
KF314 .C45 C66 2011 (2nd floor)

State Ethics Opinions--Combined  Westlaw

Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct
     In Virginia Rules Annotated KFV2431 .A2 (1st floor Va. Collection) State Bar Website
     Westlaw (in Va. Statutes and Court Rules)

Virginia State Bar Ethics Opinions
     State Bar Website / Westlaw / Lexis

Other States
Check Lexis, Westlaw, or the websites of the state bar association and/or state court system.

Treatises & Restatement

(Selected sources only)

ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct  Bloomberg Law

James J. Alfini, Judicial Conduct and Ethics (6th ed. 2020)
KF8779 .S47 2020 (2nd floor)  Lexis

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

Richard E. Flamm, Lawyer Disqualification: Disqualification of Attorneys and Law Firms (2014 & annual supp.)
KF308 .F53 2014 (2nd floor)

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

Bennett L. Gershman, Prosecutorial Misconduct (annual editions)
KF9640 .G46 (2nd floor)  Westlaw

John Wesley Hall, Jr., Professional Responsibility in Criminal Defense Practice (3rd ed. 2005 & annual supp.)
KF306 .H25 2005 (2nd floor)  Westlaw

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

Gregory P. Joseph, Sanctions: the Federal Law of Litigation Abuse (6th ed. 2020)
KF8887 .J66 2020 (2nd floor)  Lexis

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

Restatement (Third) of the Law Governing Lawyers (2000)
KF395 .A2 L383 2000 (2nd floor)  Westlaw / Lexis / HeinOnline

Douglas R. Richmond et al, Professional Responsibility in Litigation (2nd ed. 2016)
KF306 .R53 2016 (2nd floor)  Bloomberg Law

Ronald D. Rotunda & John S. Dzienkowski, Legal Ethics: The Lawyer's Deskbook on Professional Responsibility (annual editions)
KF306 .R67 (2nd floor)  Westlaw


Legal Source

Contains detailed indexing for over 1,200 legal journals, law reviews, yearbooks, institutes, statutes, bar association and university publications. Includes full text for over 400 journals. Coverage: 1908 - present.

Subject Queries:

  • legal ethics
  • conflict of interests
  • judicial ethics
  • law & ethics

Selected Periodicals on Professional Responsibility & Legal Ethics

Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics  Westlaw / Lexis / HeinOnline

Journal of the Legal Profession  Westlaw / HeinOnline

Journal of the Professional Lawyer  HeinOnline / Legal Source

Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy  Westlaw / LexisHeinOnline

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice and Ethics  Westlaw / Lexis / HeinOnline

Free Websites

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

Legal Profession Blog
A blog on legal and judicial ethics featuring reports on recent disciplinary actions.

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.