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Law Program

Learning about the deplorable conduct of many lawyers in the lead up to the Holocaust, and imagining how I would have risen to the moment if I were placed in their shoes, provided an unforgettable lesson.
Jack Huerter
2016 FASPE Law Fellow

FASPE Law examines the role played by German lawyers from 1933 to 1945, underscoring the reality that moral codes governing the practice of law can break down or be distorted with devastating consequences. Having demonstrated the power held by the legal profession in a modern society, FASPE addresses ethical issues now facing individual lawyers, the legal profession and its institutions at large. With the historical background in mind, FASPE Law Fellows are more committed and better positioned to confront contemporary ethical issues.

Each year, FASPE chooses 12 to 15 Law Fellows from law schools, as well as early-career lawyers, to spend two weeks in Berlin and Poland where they visit key historical sites and participate in daily seminars led by specialized faculty. The Law Fellows travel with the Business and Journalism Fellows, having the opportunity to exchange views over shared meals and in several interdisciplinary seminars.

In 2018, the FASPE Law program dates are Sunday, May 20, 2018 – Friday, June 1, 2018.

FASPE Law Fellows consider topics such as:

  • the complicity of German lawyers in the design and execution of Nazi racial laws and genocidal policies
  • the difference between legal compliance and ethical behavior
  • ethical approaches to truth and disclosure in the adversarial process
  • the ethical challenges of ambition in professional development
  • ethics and government lawyering
  • ethics in the day-to-day practice of law
  • navigating multiple loyalties—to employers, clients, systems of justice, legal frameworks and more
  • tactics for addressing ethical issues within legal and governmental institutions
International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg, 1946.Gift of Ralph Goodman, Museum of Jewish Heritage, NY

FASPE Law offers an approach to ethics and professionalism that differs from the usual experience at law schools by providing a holistic curriculum that looks beyond the formal rules of conduct established by the legal profession to focus on ethical problems faced by individual lawyers in the contemporary settings in which they practice.

The Law program was initially developed with the assistance of Anthony Kronman, Sterling Professor of Law and former Dean of Yale Law School, and Eric Muller, Dan K. Moore Distinguished Professor in Jurisprudence and Ethics at the University of North Carolina School of Law. Further contributions to the program have been made by David Luban, University Professor at the University of Georgetown Law Center, and Dana Remus, General Counsel of the Obama Foundation and the Office of Barack and Michelle Obama. FASPE Law Fellows now practice in major law firms and corporations, serve as prosecutors and public defenders and hold various government positions.

For more information on how to apply to FASPE Law, please click here.