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Law Review Symposium

The Legal Ethics of Identity: Blurring the Line Between Personal and Professional

Friday, January 30, 2015

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Is it realistic to expect lawyers and judges to erect a wall between their personal experiences and their professional roles? How do personal experiences and beliefs shape the professional identity of lawyers and judges, and how does this affect happiness, job satisfaction, and ethical behavior?

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

“The job of a judge is to apply the law. And so it’s not the heart that compels conclusions in cases. It’s the law. The judge applies the law to the facts before that judge.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Lawyers are not supposed to make personal value judgments about the morality of their clients’ goals, and judges are encouraged to disregard their personal experiences when they are deciding cases to prevent bias. Six renowned attorneys and judges will reflect on how their personal stories have shaped them professionally, and about when the personal and professional spheres should overlap or stay separate. We will also ask legal scholars to reflect on these issues and on the personal stories told over the course of the symposium. 

This event is co-sponsored by the USF School of Law Center for Law and Ethics.


University of San Francisco, Fromm Hall
2130 Fulton St., San Francisco, CA 94117

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MCLE Credit (3 General Units/1 Unit Legal Ethics)

This activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 3.0 general credit hours and 1.0 credit in the category of Legal Ethics. The University of San Francisco School of Law is an approved provider of MCLE and certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved educational activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education.

Registration Fees

  • General Registration with CLE - $150
  • General Registration without CLE - $95
  • USF Alumni Registration with CLE - $85
  • USF Alumni Registration without CLE - $75
  • Public Service/Public Agency - $50
  • Non-USF Students - $25
  • USF Faculty, Staff, and Students - No fee
Fees include admission to the symposium, continental breakfast, and buffet lunch.