Rule 1.2 Scope of Representation And Allocation of Authority Between Client And Lawyer

Client-Lawyer Relationship

Allocation of Authority between Client and Lawyer

[1] Paragraph (a) confers upon the client the ultimate authority to determine the purposes to be served by legal representation, within the limits imposed by law and the lawyer’s professional obligations. The decisions specified in paragraph (a), such as whether to settle a civil matter, must also be made by the client. See Rule 1.4(a)(1) for the lawyer’s duty to communicate with the client about such decisions. With respect to the means by which the client’s objectives are to be pursued, the lawyer shall consult with the client as required by Rule 1.4(a)(2) and may take such action as is impliedly authorized to carry out the representation.

[2] On occasion, however, a lawyer and a client may disagree about the means to be used to accomplish the client’s objectives. Clients normally defer to the special knowledge and skill of their lawyer with respect to the means to be used to accomplish their objectives, particularly with respect to technical, legal and tactical matters. Conversely, lawyers usually defer to the client regarding such questions as the expense to be incurred and concern for third persons who might be adversely affected. Because of the varied nature of the matters about which a lawyer and client might disagree and because the actions in question may implicate the interests of a tribunal or other persons, this Rule does not prescribe how such disagreements are to be resolved. Other law, however, may be applicable and should be consulted by the lawyer. The lawyer should also consult with the client and seek a mutually acceptable resolution of the disagreement. If such efforts are unavailing and the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement with the client, the lawyer may withdraw from the representation. See Rule

Read the rest

Professional Independence of a Lawyer

Law Firms And Associations

(a) A lawyer or law firm shall not share legal fees with a nonlawyer, except that:

(1) an agreement by a lawyer with the lawyer’s firm, partner, or associate may provide for the payment of money, over a reasonable period of time after the lawyer’s death, to the lawyer’s estate or to one or more specified persons;

(2) a lawyer who purchases the practice of a deceased, disabled, or disappeared lawyer may, pursuant to the provisions of Rule 1.17, pay to the estate or other representative of that lawyer the agreed-upon purchase price;

(3) a lawyer or law firm may include nonlawyer employees in a compensation or retirement plan, even though the plan is based in whole or in part on a profit-sharing arrangement; and

(4) a lawyer may share court-awarded legal fees with a nonprofit organization that employed, retained or recommended employment of the lawyer in the matter.

(b) A lawyer shall not form a partnership with a nonlawyer if any of the activities of the partnership consist of the practice of law.

(c) A lawyer shall not permit a person who recommends, employs, or pays the lawyer to render legal services for another to direct or regulate the lawyer’s professional judgment in rendering such legal services.

(d) A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association authorized to practice law for a profit, if:

(1) a nonlawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciary representative of the estate of a lawyer may hold the stock or interest of the lawyer for a reasonable time during administration;

(2) a nonlawyer is a corporate director or officer thereof or occupies the position of similar responsibility in any form of association other

Read the rest

AI Lawyer “Ross” Has Been Hired By Its First Official Law Firm

Law firm Baker & Hostetler has announced that they are employing IBM’s AI Ross to handle their bankruptcy practice, which at the moment consists of nearly 50 lawyers. According to CEO and co-founder Andrew Arruda, other firms have also signed licenses with Ross, and they will also be making announcements shortly.

Ross, “the world’s first artificially intelligent attorney” built on IBM’s cognitive computer Watson, was designed to read and understand language, postulate hypotheses when asked questions, research, and then generate responses (along with references and citations) to back up its conclusions. Ross also learns from experience, gaining speed and knowledge the more you interact with it.

“You ask your questions in plain English, as you would a colleague, and ROSS then reads through the entire body of law and returns a cited answer and topical readings from legislation, case law and secondary sources to get you up-to-speed quickly,” the website says. “In addition, ROSS monitors the law around the clock to notify you of new court decisions that can affect your case.”

Ross also minimizes the time it takes by narrowing down results from a thousand to only the most highly relevant answers, and presents the answers in a more casual, understandable language. It also keeps up-to-date with developments in the legal system, specifically those that may affect your cases.

Click to View Full Infographic

Baker & Hostetler chief information officer Bob Craig explains the rationale behind this latest hire: “At BakerHostetler, we believe that emerging technologies like cognitive computing and other forms of machine learning can help enhance the services we deliver to our clients.”

“BakerHostetler has been using ROSS since the first days of its deployment, and we are proud to partner with a true leader in the industry as we continue to develop additional

Read the rest

Lawyer – Career Rankings, Salary, Reviews and Advice

A lawyer advises and represents individuals or organizations in legal matters. Depending on their specialty and what type of law they practice, a lawyer may represent a client in civil or criminal court, or help a client write a will.

“There’s a reason why lawyers are usually called counsel; that’s essentially what our job is, to counsel,” says Juan Santamaria, a Houston-based staff attorney at the nonprofit Lone Star Legal Aid, who specializes in landlord-tenant cases. “We don’t just go to court to fight and argue. Our entire job is to complete a task for our client and to give our best counsel to that client to complete that task.”

Lawyers may work for nonprofit organizations or for federal, state or local governments, but the majority work in private or corporate legal offices, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Some lawyers work as district attorneys, prosecuting criminal cases within a jurisdiction, while others work as public defenders, representing individuals who are accused of crimes and can’t afford to hire an attorney. Some lawyers work as legal advisers to universities, municipalities or corporations. Environmental lawyers may work with waste disposal companies to make sure they comply with relevant laws related to the environment, family lawyers may advise clients during child custody or adoption proceedings, and securities lawyers may advise companies that are interested in listing in the stock exchange through an initial public offering.The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 9.6% employment growth for lawyers between 2021 and 2031. In that period, an estimated 80,200 jobs should open up.

Read the rest

10 tips for better legal writing

The legal writing process is not “one size fits all” and “people need to find the one that fits them best, David Howard Spratt, professor of legal rhetoric at American University Washington College of Law, said in the recent “Landslide Webinar Series: Take Your Legal Writing from Good to Great—Drafting Tips from the Pros”. The webinar was sponsored by the ABA Section of Intellectual Property Law and ABACLE.

No matter your personal style, all writers want to be considered credible. To do so, “the grammar has to be there and the proofreading has to be there, because those are the things that make the impression with your reader,” Spratt emphasized.

Spratt and his fellow panelists shared these basic musts:

Planning: Think about who you’re writing the document for, by asking yourself these questions: “Who is my reader?” “What is my reader’s relationship to me?” and “Why am I writing this? Is it to inform, persuade or to accomplish some other end?”

Spratt recommended giving your reader just what he needs to know. “Sometimes we write and regurgitate everything we know about a topic 

  1. Check verb tense. A singular subject should have a singular verb and a plural subject should have a plural verb.
  2. Note word placement. “The verb should come after the subject and be as close to the subject as possible,” Spratt said.
  3. Stay active. Writing in the active voice is clearer, more concise and easier for the reader to understand. Writing in the passive voice makes the reader “struggle to figure out what you’re saying,” he said.
  4. Placement matters. “Put the modifying words as close as you can to the words you’re modifying,” Spratt said. Julie Schrager, legal writing coach at Schiff Hardin LLP in Chicago, said she’s often
Read the rest

Developing Legal Writing Skills Masterclass

Suitable for solicitors, legal executives and all staff in the legal profession, this masterclass aims to demonstrate good formal writing skills by analysing participants’ personal writing style.

About the workshop

Through a series of exercises participants will develop techniques to ensure they deliver clear and formal written communications.

Solicitors and legal professionals need to master a variety of writing styles from instructing counsel to basic informational emails as well as advice on complex subjects. The techniques outlined in this workshop will examine these different writing styles. Some of the key areas will include:

  • clear English that presents information that is easy to understand but remains formal rather than casual,

  • concise language that uses the minimum amount of words,

  • identifying how jargon and technical language negatively influences written clarity, and

  • understanding how your audience will be impacted by your writing style


Edward Donelan is Adjunct Professor of Regulatory Governance, University College Dublin. He has worked with governments worldwide as a specialist in legislative drafting and developing regulatory governance and regulatory management. This work has included policy making, legislative drafting, public consultation, Regulatory Impact Assessment and managing stocks of legislation. He has been a speaker and trainer of legislative drafting at seminars and workshops in over 30 countries. His latest book is Policy – Making, Law Drafting and Managing the Stock of Legislation in the 21st Century (published by Palgrave Macmillan May 2022).

Make a booking

The workshop will take place on Wednesday 15 March 2023, from 9.30am – 4.30pm in-person at the Law Society of Ireland.

For assistance or further information contact us:


Irish Institute of Training & Development – Multiple Award Winners

Awarded for Excellence & Innovation in Training & Development

Skillnet funding

Return to Legal Training eZine

Read the rest

Resilient Legal Writing

Purpose and Audience

Understand your purpose. What outcome are you trying to accomplish, and for whom? Structure, tone, and voice change based on the document you are drafting. Judges, another attorney, or a client all have expectations in your writing. Familiarize yourself with the courts or attorneys’ tone, style, pet peeves, etc. While a judge will almost always be a member of your audience, a judge will rarely be the only member.


Legal writing requires attention to detail while incorporating legal precedent. The first step in any research process is ensuring that you understand the issue. Understanding the question can be as difficult as answering it. Do not be afraid to ask questions if you need help. Do not commit the fatal error of excluding relevant cases because it does not support the conclusion you want to reach. Research should present an accurate assessment of the relevant law with an honest prediction of how the client’s facts are likely to come out under that law.


State your point directly and clearly using active voice. Avoid double negatives, and depending on your audience, do not use two spaces after the period unless required. Be consistent. If the document is longer than a few pages, use headings/subheadings as signposts. Just as the legal research mentioned above is a process, legal writing with clarity is also a process.


When submitting something to a partner, supervising attorney, or the court, you are making an impression. It is imperative to take proofreading seriously to produce high-quality work and to maintain professionalism. Those not proofreading their work should start immediately. It is also important to remember that under the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Professional Responsibility, Rule 1.1 states that a

Read the rest

Legal Research – Legal Research

Take advantage of a growing need for legal researchers

For legal practitioners and academics alike, legal research skills are increasingly important. Universities and research centres, but also law firms, companies, courts, non-governmental organisations and public authorities all have a need for thorough, well-trained lawyers with excellent writing skills and a research-oriented mindset. The Legal Research programme will help you to become the type of well-rounded lawyer that our changing society needs. Read more about the Career Prospects.

Become a perceptive and analytic thinker

Our complex, pluralist, and constantly developing society is in clear need of sharp analytical thinkers. Traditional law courses do not always provide graduates with the required knowledge and skills to meet this demand. Utrecht University developed the two-year Legal Research Master’s programme to fill this gap. This programme offers both an excellent foundation for further PhD studies and a strong preparation for a career as a legal practitioner in the commercial, public service or academic sectors. As part of this programme, you complete courses in legal research methods as well as take substantive courses on the dynamics of law. You spend approximately one year engaged in taking courses in your own field of interest, conducting legal research projects and writing a Master thesis.

Read the rest

Inclusion in Legal Writing: A Practitioner’s Guide

As new lawyers, it is essential to hone your writing skills as early as possible. Although starting out in practice comes with a learning curve, focusing on writing can help perfect your skills and accelerate your proficiency in the craft. One area that you may not immediately consider is how to ensure inclusivity in your writing. The following five tips will help you be inclusive in your legal writing.

1. Be Person-Centric

Whether you are deciding how to refer to a person’s gender, race, ethnicity, ability, sexual orientation, or any other personal identity, remember always to put the person first. For example, rather than labeling a person as “an addict,” you could describe someone who has an addiction to something. Or you may specify a person with diabetes rather than saying someone is “a diabetic.”

2. Drop a Footnote

At times statutes or case law may use outdated language. Rather than perpetuate the use of outdated words, use a more appropriate word, and include a footnote explaining why you are using it. For example, “alienage” is a common term with legal meaning, but colloquially referring to people as “aliens” is inappropriate. Instead, choose another way to refer to the person, such as “asylum-seeker,” “refugee,” or refer to the person’s country of citizenship rather than emphasizing that a person is not a citizen of the United States.

3. Read and Ask

In the same way that lawyers read new law, they should also read about trends in legal writing. This could include trends in citation usage, or it could include the proper way to refer to a person who is non-binary in legal pleadings. If you are unsure about something, the best advice is always to ask because the profession is one of

Read the rest

Legal Writing | Law | Baylor University

Writing is foundational to the practice of law.

Everything that takes place in a courtroom begins with writing. Every agreement, non-disclosure, and contract rests on writing. From litigation to the practice of transactional law, written advocacy skills are crucial.

Baylor Law is dedicated to ensuring that every Baylor Lawyer is a powerful written advocate who is ready to reliably produce thoughtful, accurate, and detailed written legal materials.  To accomplish this, our legal writing program was redesigned from the ground up – with one goal in mind – to create a unique, and rigorous, legal writing program that maximizes graduates’ readiness to perform.  

Writing classes are fully-integrated into the Baylor Law curriculum across all three years of legal training, all tracks of study, and all degree programs.  Legal writing and research assignments are designed collaboratively between writing faculty and the faculty of other courses.  The journey culminates in the third year in Baylor’s nationally recognized Practice Court, where students will draft the full gamut of litigation-based documents from beginning to end.  

There is no time during a student’s tenure at Baylor Law when they are not required to improve their legal writing by building on previously-learned skills. Our faculty and staff, who have unparalleled experience in both classroom teaching and legal practice, act as coaches who guide students in their legal writing education from the moment they enter Baylor Law through graduation and beyond. 

Even our Legal Writing Competition – the Ultimate Writer – is unique. Students who participate are not just competing for a cash prize – but also for a coveted job opportunity with a major firm.

Regarded as one of the best legal writing programs in the state of Texas, Baylor Law develops a sense of mastery in students that places them well

Read the rest