PL103 Dorton Fall2023: Welcome

Resources for researching issues related to ethics and professional responsibility for legal professionals.

PL103 Project

Option 1: Fostering Cultural Competence for Legal Professionals

Cultural and social factors hugely influence how the law treats different communities. Similarly, these factors impact the quality of legal services and the treatment received by clients of legal professionals.

This project will involve research and interviews to analyze and elevate 1) issues a marginalized population (of your choosing) faces navigating the legal system and 2) the ethical requirements for licensed legal professionals to develop cultural competency. The findings will be presented through a traditional research paper or alternative formats such as a podcast episode or short documentary video. Additionally, the project should include a 1-2 page summary handout to be used as a practical tool for legal professionals working with the studied community.

For any format, research will include scholarly sources, relevant data, and interviews with subject matter experts to provide insights into systemic biases and barriers and how legal providers can provide competent and respectful legal assistance.

Option 2: Unauthorized Practice of Law Project

The definition and scope of the "unauthorized practice of law" (UPL) is contentious, with jurisdictions taking varied approaches. For this project, you will research how other states define UPL and the giving of "legal advice." You will research legal cases and scholarship in this area of law. You will also interview at least one Oregon-based non-profit organization engaged in legal advocacy work with community members.