Survey of the Legal Profession


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For the following questions, please use LIRN or Westlaw, (Contact Student Services if you need it)

Answer the following questions incorporating no less than three credible sources and citing the answer in APA format. This section’s answers should be no less than 700 words in total.

1. List and define the basic organizational structures of law firms discussed in the chapter. What is

personal liability?

2. What is the difference between an associate and a partner? Are there attorneys in other roles in law

firms? If so, what are their roles? Who handles the administrative tasks of a law firm? Who

supervises the work performed by paralegals?

3. What kinds of files do law firms maintain? What general procedures are typically followed in regard

to client files?

4. List and define the different ways law firms build their client base. What ethical obligations do

attorneys have with respect to legal fees?

5. How do lawyers and legal assistants keep track of their time? What is the difference between billable

and nonbillable hours? What is a client trust account?

6. Why is the legal profession regulated? Who are the regulators? How is regulation accomplished?

7. How is the paralegal profession regulated by attorney ethical codes? How is it regulated by paralegal

codes of ethics?

8. What does the duty of competence involve? How can violations of the duty of competence be


9 That is the duty of confidentiality? What is the attorney-client privilege? What is the relationship

between confidentiality and the attorney-client privilege? What are some potential consequences of

violating the confidentiality rule?


10. How is the practice of law defined? What is the unauthorized practice of law (UPL)? How might

paralegals violate state statutes prohibiting UPL? What types of tasks can legally be performed by


For ethics questions, please use LIRN or Westlaw to the extent that you can. The response should be a minimum of 250 words, and all citations should be in APA format. There should be at least one, if not more, citations.


1. Sam Martin, an attorney, receives a settlement check for a client’s case. It is made out jointly to Sam

and his client. Sam endorses the check and instructs his paralegal to deposit it into his law firm’s bank

account, instead of the client’s trust account, because he wants to take out his fee before he gives the

client his portion of the money. Can Sam do this? Why or why not? What should Sam’s paralegal do?

2. James Johnson is a sole practitioner. His office is about an hour’s drive from the federal district court

in which he files many of his lawsuits. He used to talk on his cell phone to clients as he traveled the

two hours to and from the courthouse. He would then bill the client on whose behalf he was going to

the courthouse for two hours and the clients with whom he talked on the phone for increments of the

same two hours. When the American Bar Association issued its rule prohibiting double billing, he

was concerned that the rule would drive him out of business due to the drop in income. Is what

Johnson is doing ethical? Why or why not?

3. Norma Sollers works as a paralegal for a small law firm. She is a trusted, experienced employee who

has worked for the firm for twelve years. One morning, Linda Lowenstein, one of the attorneys, calls

from her home and asks Norma to sign Linda’s name to a document that must be filed with the court

that day. Norma had just prepared the final draft of the document and had placed it on Linda’s desk

for her review and signature. Linda explains to Norma that because her child is sick, she does not

want to leave home to come into the office. Norma knows that she should not sign Linda’s name—

only the client’s attorney can sign the document. She mentions this to Linda, but Linda says, “Don’t

worry. No one will ever know that you signed it instead of me.” How should Norma handle this


Grading rubric

Explanation & Answer

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