June 30, 2024

Lawyer Misconduct and Discipline in America

Academic and Bar Success


Program: Unsolicited Grant Program
Grantee: Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
Grant Amount: $34,100

Summary of Grant Outcomes

This grant funded a study of the of the use of rates of professional discipline as measures of potential harm when considering whether professional licensing regimes protect the public. It used data collected from 34 jurisdictions (from between 1984 and 2019) to examine variations in licensing requirements for aspiring attorneys. The evidence gathered suggests that the only licensing requirements that reduce potential harms to consumers and the public are those that make entry into the profession more difficult for those who are at the highest risk of being disciplined. However, the overall impact on harm reduction would appear to be small, and takes many years to be apparent.

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