An Ode to Rhode: In Principle and in Practice

March 1, 2023

This Essay is a tribute to Professor Deborah L. Rhode by  Professor Scott L. Cummings and discusses her legacy through the impact of her scholarship and leadership on both legal ethics and the community of legal ethics scholars. It reviews Deborah’s findings on pro bono in principle and in practice, revealing a Janus face—one that is built on altruism but used to benefit individual interests. This Essay shares Professor Cummings’s own experiences with Deborah as an inspirational and courageous individual who spoke truth to power to elevate the interests of those with less power and the ideal of lawyers as a force to make society better.

This Essay was prepared for the Colloquium entitled In Memory of Deborah Rhode, hosted by the Fordham Law Review and co-organized by the Stein Center for Law and Ethics on October 21, 2022, at Fordham University School of Law.

March 2023

No. 4