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Legal Ethics and the MPRE: Introduction and Rules of Professional Conduct

This guide provides information and resources relating to legal ethics, codes of professional conduct, and the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam.

Introduction to Legal Ethics

The legal profession is largely self-governed, with its members taking oaths to adhere to certain ethical standards. In Illinois, those standards are codified in the Illinois Rules of Professional Responsibility and the Judicial Code of Conduct. These rules provide the framework by which the Illinois Supreme Court regulates the legal profession and, if necessary, disciplines attorneys and judges.

In order to ensure that prospective attorneys are familiar with principles of legal ethics, Illinois, and nearly all other states, require prospective lawyers to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam (MPRE) before they can be licensed. The MPRE does not test students on Illinois' Rules specifically, but rather focuses on the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Model Code of Judicial Conduct, as well as other generally accepted ethical principles.

This guide provides information and resources relating to legal ethics and the MPRE. This page provides a means to compare the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010 with the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, as well as resources to access the text of each rule set in both print and electronic form. Other pages of this guide provide resources relating to the Illinois and ABA Codes of Judicial Conduct, resources for registering and preparing for the MPRE, and reference and research tools for students, practitioners, and scholars. 

Illinois and ABA Rules of Professional Conduct

When implementing the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted the ABA Model Rules in many, but not all respects. This box provides links to both sets of rules for easy comparison. The rules are divided into categories based on the ABA Model Rules' table of contents. 

Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010)  ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct 
Seal of the Supreme Court of Illinois  Logo of the American Bar Association 
Illinois Rules Preamble  ABA Rules Preamble and Scope 
Illinois Rules Scope   

When implementing the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted the ABA Model Rules in many, but not all respects. This box provides links to both sets of rules for easy comparison. The rules are divided into categories based on the ABA Model Rules' table of contents. 

Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010)  ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct 
Seal of the Supreme Court of Illinois  Logo of the American Bar Association 
Rule 1.0 - Terminology Rule 1.0 - Terminology

When implementing the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted the ABA Model Rules in many, but not all respects. This box provides links to both sets of rules for easy comparison. The rules are divided into categories based on the ABA Model Rules' table of contents. 

Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010)  ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct 
Seal of the Supreme Court of Illinois  Logo of the American Bar Association 
Rule 1.1 - Competence  Rule 1.1 - Competence 
Rule 1.2 - Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority Between Client and Lawyer  Rule 1.2 - Scope of Representation and Allocation of Authority Between Client and Lawyer 
Rule 1.3 - Diligence  Rule 1.3 - Diligence 
Rule 1.4 - Communication  Rule 1.4 - Communication 
Rule 1.5 - Fees  Rule 1.5 - Fees 
Rule 1.6 - Confidentiality of Information  Rule 1.6 - Confidentiality of Information 
Rule 1.7 - Conflict of Interest: Current Clients  Rule 1.7 - Conflict of Interest: Current Clients 
Rule 1.8 - Conflict of Interest: Current Clients: Specific Rules  Rule 1.8 - Conflict of Interest: Current Clients: Specific Rules 
Rule 1.9 - Duties to Former Clients  Rule 1.9 - Duties to Former Clients 
Rule 1.10 - Imputation of Conflicts of Interest: General Rule  Rule 1.10 - Imputation of Conflicts of Interest: General Rule 
Rule 1.11 - Special Conflicts of Interest for Former and Current Government Officers and Employees  Rule 1.11 - Special Conflicts of Interest for Former and Current Government Officers and Employees 
Rule 1.12 - Former Judge, Arbitrator, Mediator or Other Third-Party Neutral  Rule 1.12 - Former Judge, Arbitrator, Mediator or Other Third-Party Neutral 
Rule 1.13 - Organization as a Client  Rule 1.13 - Organization as a Client 
Rule 1.14 - Client with Diminished Capacity  Rule 1.14 - Client with Diminished Capacity 
Rule 1.15 - Safekeeping Property  Rule 1.15 - Safekeeping Property 
Rule 1.16 - Declining or Terminating Representation  Rule 1.16 - Declining or Terminating Representation 
Rule 1.17 - Sale of Law Practice  Rule 1.17 - Sale of Law Practice 
Rule 1.18 - Duties to Prospective Client  Rule 1.18 - Duties to Prospective Client 

When implementing the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted the ABA Model Rules in many, but not all respects. This box provides links to both sets of rules for easy comparison. The rules are divided into categories based on the ABA Model Rules' table of contents. 

When implementing the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted the ABA Model Rules in many, but not all respects. This box provides links to both sets of rules for easy comparison. The rules are divided into categories based on the ABA Model Rules' table of contents. 

When implementing the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted the ABA Model Rules in many, but not all respects. This box provides links to both sets of rules for easy comparison. The rules are divided into categories based on the ABA Model Rules' table of contents.

When implementing the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted the ABA Model Rules in many, but not all respects. This box provides links to both sets of rules for easy comparison. The rules are divided into categories based on the ABA Model Rules' table of contents.

When implementing the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010, the Illinois Supreme Court adopted the ABA Model Rules in many, but not all respects. This box provides links to both sets of rules for easy comparison. The rules are divided into categories based on the ABA Model Rules' table of contents.

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Additional Resources for Accessing the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (2010)

The Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct can also be found in print form in:

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