Milestone Minute: Professional Responsibility with Elysa Dishman

Before an attorney can practice law, they need to take the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE) which tests future lawyers on their ethical professional obligations. An understanding of professional responsibility and ethics is critical for nascent as well as practicing lawyers. Professor Elysa Dishman, who focuses on ethics and professional responsibility, provides general tips for “best practices” in maintaining professional responsibility within the law:

  • Access a mentor/advocate in the firm in which you work to advise on ethics.
  • Trust your gut—it will signal you when something may raise flags.
  • Understand the Rules of Professional Conduct set by your state supreme court.
  • Don’t be afraid to have candid, professional conversations with your supervisor.
  • Admit when you made a mistake and correct it immediately.
  • Seek out supervisors who are committed to practicing the “right way.”

A distinguished practitioner-in-residence at BYU Law School, Elysa Dishman teaches courses in professional responsibility, corporate compliance and legal risk management, and trial advocacy. Her research interests include ethics, corporate governance, director and officer liability, white-collar crime, and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

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