Should You Have To Be A Lawyer To Do That?

Lecture Date



Many people facing evictions, debt-collection lawsuits, and other civil legal actions cannot afford a lawyer. But the law forbids them from securing meaningful assistance from other professionals or from friends and neighbors who could help. In many situations, Depression-era restrictions on “unauthorized practice of law” (UPL) make it illegal, even criminal, for anyone but a lawyer to help another by giving legal advice, drafting legal documents or engaging in legal advocacy.

Do the UPL restrictions, which protect people from unqualified and unregulated nonlawyers, do more harm than good?

Speaker Information

Bruce A. Green is the Louis Stein Chair at Fordham Law School, where he directs the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics. He teaches and writes primarily in the areas of legal ethics and criminal law, and is involved in various bar association activities.

Currently, Professor Green chairs and is a member and past chair of the NY State Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics. He previously chaired the NYC Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics, the ABA Criminal Justice Section, and the ABA Criminal Justice Standards Committee and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination drafting committee. He also served on the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, was the Reporter to both the ABA Task Force on Attorney-Client Privilege and the ABA Commission on Multijurisdictional Practice, and co-chaired the ethics committee of the ABA Litigation Section and Criminal Justice Section.

Since joining the Fordham faculty in 1987, Professor Green has engaged in various part-time public service, including as a member of the NYC Conflicts of Interest Board, as a member of the attorney disciplinary committee in Manhattan, as Associate Counsel in the office of the Iran/Contra prosecutor, and as a consultant and special investigator for the NYS Commission on Government Integrity. Previously, Professor Green was a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, where he served as Chief Appellate Attorney, and he was a judicial law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall and Circuit Judge James L. Oakes. In May 2018, Professor Green received the Michael Franck Professional Responsibility Award, given by the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility.

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