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End-of-life notice: American Legal Ethics Library

As of March 1, 2013, the Legal Information Institute is no longer maintaining the information in the American Legal Ethics Library. It is no longer possible for us to maintain it at a level of completeness and accuracy given its staffing needs. It is very possible that we will revive it at a future time. At this point, it is in need of a complete technological renovation and reworking of the "correspondent firm" model which successfully sustained it for many years.

Many people have contributed time and effort to the project over the years, and we would like to thank them. In particular, Roger Cramton and Peter Martin not only conceived ALEL but gave much of their own labor to it. We are also grateful to Brad Wendel for his editorial contributions, to Brian Toohey and all at Jones Day for their efforts, and to all of our correspondents and contributors. Thank you.

We regret any inconvenience.

Some portions of the collection may already be severely out of date, so please be cautious in your use of this material.

Scope of the American Legal Ethics Library

This digital library contains both the codes or rules setting standards for the professional conduct of lawyers and commentary on the law governing lawyers, organized on a state by state basis.

Major law firms and legal academics, working on a pro bono basis, are contributing narratives on the law of lawyering of their states. As of Jan. 2006 the library includes narratives from 22 jurisdictions, including most of those with the largest lawyer populations.  It also includes the codes of professional responsibility for those jurisdictions, numerous other states, and the European Community. There are several additional states for which narratives are in progress.  More jurisdictions will be added as they are completed.

The American Bar Association's ethics materials are included in the library to permit the rules of a particular state to be compared with the ABA model provisions, including the extensive 2002 revisions, and with related provisions in other states.

Sponsorship, Authorship, and Editorial Coordination

Cornell Law School's Legal Information Institute, has been able to undertake this ambitious project because of ongoing financial support from the Withrow Legal Ethics Program at Cornell. The W. M. Keck Foundation provided initial funding for the project. The project is under the editorial leadership of W. Bradley Wendel, Associate Professor of Law at Cornell.

The law firms and individuals who have contributed narratives include:


The narratives and primary material that comprise the core American Legal Ethics Library have been structured to function as an integrated collection. All elements of the library can be the subject of a full text search or entered via a table of contents, but each element is linked to the rest of the collection in multiple ways permitting a user to track a specific issue or point from code to commentary in a single jurisdiction or vice-versa and to follow that same question into materials covering other jurisdictions. For example, a user interested in Florida's treatment of conflict of interest can readily find the appropriate code provisions, follow a link from them to the related poritions of the state narrative, and through the narrative access comparable sections in the ABA Model Rules or Code or the legal ethics codes of other states.

As this Internet version of the library should make clear, because of the distributed nature of the Internet the project is able to integrate the fine collections of legal ethics materials others are placing on the Net. Only those materials followed by (LII) in the Listing by jurisdiction have been prepared by this project. All other links in this Internet collection lead to resources organized and distributed by others.