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Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility Research: ABA Rules and Resources

Guide to sources on how to conduct legal research in legal ethics and professional responsibility, including New York materials.

The ABA website provides access to documents relevant to recent  (2002-2020) revisions to the Model Rules, which is useful if you are looking to research the revision of a rule. However, the ABA website only provides access to unannotated version of of their model rules. For online access to annotated versions most recent edition of these materials, use Westlaw.

ABA Ethics Opinions are not binding.  Formal Ethics Opinions are written prospectively for issues of general interest to attorneys. Informal Ethics Opinions (no longer issued) were issued in response to specific sets of facts.  

The ABA Center for Professional Responsibility provides national leadership in developing and interpreting standards and scholarly resources in legal and judicial ethics, professional regulation, professionalism and client protection. The resources listed below are all found on the Center's website.


The Pace Law Library has many of the ABA titles up to date in print. When a title also available in Westlaw, that information is included.

Lexis' ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Rules of Judicial Conduct database includes the ABA Annotated Model Rules of Professional Conduct which makes it an effective place to research ABA Rules. Lexis also includes prior editions of some of the model rules in this database, so it can also be a useful source if you are researching how a rule has developed over time.

Westlaw's collection of ABA Legal Ethics materials include the ABA Annotated Model Rules of Professional Conduct which makes it an effective place to research ABA Rules. 

ABA Model Rules and Standards:

ABA Ethics Opinions:

ABA Periodicals:

ABA - Other Content: