The Stein Center for Law and Ethics welcomed more than 400 participants from around the world for the seventh International Legal Ethics Conference from July 14 to 16 at Fordham Law School. The three-day conference, held every other year in a different country, featured more than 80 programs on a range of topics including access to justice, international rule of law, challenges to judicial integrity, and professional regulation. Prominent academics, practicing lawyers, and regulators presented papers, spoke on panels, and engaged in discussions concerning the legal profession and legal ethics.
“For the first time, hundreds of lawyers and legal academics from 60 countries gathered in one place to discuss the role of lawyers and judges in promoting the rule of law in both developed and developing countries,” said Bruce Green, director of the Stein Center and holder of the Louis Stein Chair of Law. “Despite differences in our legal systems and cultures, lawyers from around the world can learn from each other.”
The theme of this year’s conference was the Ethics and Regulation of Lawyers Worldwide: Comparative and Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Travel subsidies, provided by the conference’s more than 25 sponsors, were awarded to over 40 foreign participants from underdeveloped and developing countries in order to expand international participation. The conference attracted professionals from Nigeria, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, Argentina, Pakistan, and Jordan, among other countries.
Participants from Fordham Law included Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security, who spoke on a panel that explored ethical issues in the context of representation of Guantanamo detainees, service as a military prosecutor, challenges to U.S. no-fly lists, and the experience of India and the United Kingdom with emergency tribunals. Professor Russell Pearce spoke on two different panels: International Perspectives on the Business Profession Dichotomy and Relational Perspectives on Ethics and the Legal Profession. In a panel titled Rhetoric, Perception, and Ethical Norms, Professor Benjamin Zipursky drew from Ronald Dworkin’s Law’s Empire to examine implications of the true or right answer within the attorney-client relationship. Professor Elizabeth Cooper spoke on a panel titled Appearance of Professionalism: Clothes, Cleavage, Conformance, and Clinical Pedagogy.
Also speaking at the conference were Fordham Law alumni Peter Kostant ’78, Nicole Hyland ’02, Tigran Eldred ’90, Marny Requa ’04, and Samuel Levine ’94. Professor Cooper led a tour of the Law School’s clinic for approximately 30 attendees, and David Udell, the director of the National Center for Access to Justice, hosted a lunchtime discussion on access to justice attended by more than 50 attendees.
The conference was co-sponsored by the International Association of Legal Ethics and highlighted the historic mission of the Stein Center.
“Hosting ILEC VII has enabled us to fulfill a vision of our founder, Louis Stein, a 1926 graduate of Fordham Law, who encouraged his alma mater to gather lawyers from around the world to promote the study of ethics in the practice of law,” said Green. “Advancing our founder’s vision, as we now do, would be impossible but for the support of Fordham University and Law School, as well as the ongoing support of Louis Stein’s granddaughter, Sally Bellet, Class of 1976.”