• "Justice, though due to the accused, is due to the accuser also. The concept of fairness cannot be strained till it is narrowed to a filament. We are to keep our balance true." - Benjamin N. Cardozo


Professor Jessica Roth
Professor Anthony Sebok

Welcome to the Jacob Burns Center for Ethics in the Practice of Law. The Center sponsors courses, programs, and events that provoke dialogue and critical thought on ethical and moral issues. The Center also helps prepare students to face, with integrity, the difficult and important questions that arise in all areas of legal practice.

To be an extraordinary lawyer, you need to know that legal ethics issues arise on virtually a daily basis. Whether it has to do with revealing confidential client information to a court, how to deal with a conflict of interest between your personal values and your representation of your client, institutional pressures that are contrary to what you believe, or a myriad of other issues, the resolution is often not intuitive.

The Center's events discuss these issues and others in depth in an engaging environment. We ultimately ask the question, "will you do the right thing when no one is looking?"

Upcoming Events:

2/27 | Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls in a Complicated Business Environment

An annual panel on ethics and business law, co-sponsored with the Heyman Center on Corporate Law and Governance and Fordham Law's Stein Center for Law and Ethics. Please join us for a lively panel discussion covering ethical issues attorneys face in our current complicated business environment.


2.0 transitional/non-transitional NY CLE credits in Ethics and Professionalism available

Register to attend this event

More information

3/4 | The New York Commission on Prosecutorial Misconduct:
Background and Next Steps

This panel will discuss the constitutional, legal, and policy issues raised by the creation of the Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct in New York in 2018, as well as the lobbying effort to create the Commission and recent amendments to the legislation.

This event is co-sponsored by the Cardozo Criminal Law Society (CCLS).

1.0 transitional/non-transitional NY CLE credits in Ethics and Professionalism available

Register to attend this event

More information

5/1 | Symposium on Litigation Funding and New York's Rule of Professional Conduct 5.4(a)

As the emerging world of litigation finance grows in significance, it has come under scrutiny from those who worry about its effects on society and whether it is compatible with lawyers’ professional responsibilities. This panel will discuss the question of litigation funding from different perspectives.

Additionally, the New York City Bar ethics advisory Opinion 2018-5, based on New York's Rule 5.4(a) and prohibiting non-recourse financing arrangements between lawyers and litigation funders, will be discussed.

More information TBD


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For more information about upcoming events, please visit our Events page.

Recent Events:

Information about older Burns Center events can be viewed here.