Unless you have an entirely cynical view of the law, it’s hard to believe that unapologetic fabulist Kellyanne Conway actually has a law degree and was once a practicing lawyer.
She has become an embarrassment to the legal profession, and a group of lawyers recently teamed up to make a harsh punitive move against Kellyanne.
A group of law professors from leading law schools recently wrote a joint letter to D.C. Office of Disciplinary Counsel Wallace Shipp Jr. requesting that he investigate Conway’s status as a licensed lawyer. Stated the letter, “To the Office of Disciplinary Counsel: Please be advised that the below signed law professors, all of whom teach courses relating to legal ethics, are hereby filing a disciplinary complaint against District of Columbia bar member Kellyanne Conway, currently listed as a member of the bar under her name before marriage, Kellyanne E. Fitzpatrick,1 under DC Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4(c) [hereinafter DC Rules]. As Rule 8.4(c) states, “It is professional misconduct for a lawyer to [e]ngage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.”
They continued, “We believe that lawyers in public office—Ms. Conway is Counselor to the President— have a higher obligation to avoid conduct involving dishonest, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation than other lawyers. Although the DC Rules contain no Comment specifically relating to 8.4(c), the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct (MR) make this point. MR 8.4(c), Comment 7 states that “Lawyers holding public office assume legal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens. A lawyer’s abuse of public office can suggest an inability to fulfill the professional role of lawyers.” Cf. DC Rule 1.11 (on the special conflict of interest rules for lawyers who have served in government). It is not surprising that the Model Rules distinguish lawyers in public office from other lawyers. The ABA knows well the history of professional responsibility as an academic requirement in American law schools: following the Watergate scandal, which involved questionable conduct by a number of high-ranking lawyers in the Nixon administration, the ABA mandated that law students take such a course in order to graduate.” Ouch! Do you support their move?