Professional Responsibility and Legal Ethics Research

April 2018
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.

Introductory Sources

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

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

Professional Responsibility and Regulation (Concepts & Insights Series) (2nd ed. 2007)
KF306 .R56 2007 (RESERVE)  West Academic

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 (STACKS)
     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 2015 (RESERVE)  Westlaw 
     Unannotated: KF305 .A22 (RESERVE)  ABA Website
     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)

Professional Responsibility Standards, Rules & Statutes (annual)
KF305 .A29 S45 (RESERVE)

State Ethics Opinions--Combined  Westlaw

Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct
     In Virginia Rules Annotated KFV2431 .A2 (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  BNA

James J. Alfini, Judicial Conduct and Ethics (5th ed. 2013 & 2015 supp.)
KF8779 .S47 2013 (STACKS)  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 & 2016 supp.)
KF308 .F53 2014 (STACKS)

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
KF9640 .L38 2008 (STACKS)

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

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

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

Indexes more than 1,400 law reviews, legal newspapers, specialty publications, and bar association and international journals. Includes some full text. 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 (1987-2016)  Westlaw / Lexis / HeinOnline

Journal of the Legal Profession
     IN LAW PERIODICAL STACKS (1976-2015)  Westlaw

Journal of the Professional Lawyer  HeinOnline

Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy
     IN LAW PERIODICAL STACKS (1984-2014)  Westlaw / HeinOnline

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

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.

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.