University of Miami School of Law Course Description - Online System
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Fall 2019

Course Description
A Judge's decision upsets a lawyer and he vents his frustration by blogging and characterizing the Judge as "an evil witch" on a Halloween posting. A young attorney excited about her practice discusses some of her cases on Facebook. A lawyer serves as a juror and blogs about the trial. All of these lawyers are enjoying the social media and all are being prosecuted for violations of the Code of Professional Responsibility. New technologies provide the legal profession with opportunities for networking, advertising, discovery, research, and client development. The new media is also becoming familiar ground for personal expression. The global and instantaneous reach of new media coupled with its perpetual presence, results in a limited and unforgiving learning curve; the Code of Professional Responsibility continues to govern. Mistakes occur frequently due to distraction, unfamiliarity and haste, and poorly thought out actions and can leave lasting scars on the otherwise unblemished reputation of lawyers (and law students). Even deliberate tactics can backfire as unforeseen consequences arise. Anyone can find herself a "test case" if she traipses into this territory without caution and awareness. The applicability of the rules of professional responsibility continues to develop as digital media comes of age. In fact, the definition of attorney competence is evolving so that attorneys may be required to understand the impact of social media on the practice of law and advise their clients accordingly. The neuroscience associated with attention, distraction, ethical conduct, and social interaction is discussed to offer students a penetrating examination of the inner-workings at play. Core professional responsibility concepts and rules such as competence, diligence, communication, confidentiality, candor to the tribunal and solicitation and advertising serve as the backdrop for this instruction, which is introduced through lecture, experiential practices, and dialogue. “Mindful Spaces” across the law school offer students opportunities to practice outside of class. This course uses cutting-edge fact patterns and legal decisions involving lawyer misconduct, social media and technology to expose students to the realities of professional missteps that can follow from seemingly innocuous activities. Mindfulness practices and relevant findings in neuroscience are incorporated to offer students greater insight into what motivates them to act, and to practice developing, and wisely using, the mental brakes needed to slow down and introduce greater deliberation into decision-making.

Course Schedule
Dates Day Time Room
08-12-2019 - 11-21-2019   T  3:30 PM-6:20 PM TBD

Course Frequency
This course is usually offered every semester

Course Information

Credits: 3
Pass/Fail Option: No
Prerequisite: None
Grading: Graded
Method of Evaluation: Class Participation, Mindfulness Practice, Weekly Written Assignments, and Final Project.
Graduation Requirements Fulfilled By Course:
Professional Responsibility
Special Attributes: None
Special Restrictions:
Law Track(s): None
Bar Subject(s):
Concentration(s): None
Course Book(s): TBD/None      
First Class Assignment(s): TBD/None



Contact Information:
Phone: (305)284-5527
Office: A212


Contact Information:
Phone: (305)284-8564
Office: G275