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David B. Wilkins—Archive

Research & Scholarship


Wilkins, David B., Elizabeth Chambliss, Lisa Jones & Haile Adamson. "The State of Black Alumni: Final Report of the Harvard Black Alumni Survey" (2002)


Andrew L. Kaufman & David B. Wilkins, Problems in Professional Responsibility for a Changing Profession (Carolina Academic Press 4th ed. 2002)


"Lessons From Legal History," 51 The European Lawyer 25 (2005)

"A Systematic Response to Systemic Disadvantage: A Response to Sander," 57 Stan. L. Rev. 1915 (2005)

"Doing Well by Doing Good? The Role of Public Service in the Careers of Black Corporate Lawyers," 41 Houston Law Review 1 (2004)

"From 'Separate is Inherently Unequal' to 'Diversity is Good for Business': The Rise of Market-Based Diversity Arguments and the Fate of the Black Corporate Bar," 117 Harvard Law Review 1548 (2004)

"A New Framework for Law Firm Discipline," 16 Georgia Journal of Legal Ethics 335 (2003) (with Elizabeth Chamblis)

"The Emerging Role of Ethics Advisors, General Counsel, and other Compliance Specialists in Large Law Firms," 44 University of Arizona Law Review 559 (2002)

"Promoting Effective 'Ethical Infrastructure' in Large Law Firms: A Call for Research and Reporting," 30 Hofstra Law Journal 691 (2002) (with Elizabeth Chamblis)

"Class Not Race in Legal Ethics: Or Why Hierarchy Makes Strange Bed Fellows," 20 Law and History Review 147 (2002)

"Professional Ethics for Lawyers and Law Schools: Interdisciplinary Education and the Law School’s Ethical Obligation to Study and Teach About the Profession," 12 Legal Eductation Review 47 (2001) (Australia)

"What Law Students Think They Know About Elite Law Firms: Preliminary Results of a Survey of Third Year Law Students," 69 University of Cincinati Law Review 1213 (2001) (with G. Mitu Gulati)

"Why Global Law Firms Should Care about Diversity: Five Lessons from the American Experience," 2 European Journal of Law Reform 415 (2000)

"Rollin’ On the River: Race, Elite Schools, and the Equality Paradox," 25 Law and Social Inquiry 527 (2000)

"Partners Without Power? A Preliminary Look at Black Partners in Corporate Law Firms," 2 Journal for the Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics 15 (1999)

"The Professional Responsibility of Professional Schools to Study and Teach About the Profession," 49 Journal of Legal Education 76 (1999)

"On Being Good and Black," 112 Harvard Law Review 1924 (1999) (reviewing Paul M. Barrett, New York: Dutton Press, The Good Black: A True Story of Race in America)

"Reconceiving the Tournament of Lawyers: Tracking, Seeding, and Information Control in the Internal Labor Markets of Elite Law Firms," 84 Virginia Law Review 1581 (1998) (with G. Mitu Gulati)

"Fragmenting Professionalism: Racial Identity and the Ideology of 'Bleached Out' Lawyering," 5 International Journal of the Legal Profession 141 (1998)

"Identities and Roles: Race, Recognition, and Professional Responsibility," 57 Maryland Law Review 1502 (1998)

"Do Clients Have Ethical Obligations to Lawyers? Some Lessons from the Diversity Wars," 11 Georgia Journal of Legal Ethics 855 (1998)

"Straightjacketing Professionalism: A Comment on Russell," 95 Michigan Law Review 795 (1997)

"Why Are There So Few Black Lawyers in Corporate Law Firms?: An Institutional Analysis," 84 California Law Review 493 (1996) (with G. Mitu Gulati)

"Afterword: How Should We Determine Who Should Regulate Lawyers? -- Managing Conflict and Context in Professional Regulation," 65 Fordham Law Review 465 (1996)

"In Defense of Law and Morality: Why Lawyers Should Have a Prima Facie Duty to Obey the Law," 38 William & Mary Law Review 269 (1996)

Book Chapters

"Why Global Law Firms Should Care About Diversity: Five Lessons from the American Experience" in The Internationalization of the Practice of Law (J. Drolshammer & M. Pfeifer eds., Kluwer 2001)

"Law Firms" in International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences (Neil J. Smelser & Paul B. Baltes eds., Pergamon 2001)

"Beyond “Bleached Out” Professionalism: Defining Professional Responsibility for Real Professionals" in Ethics in Practice: Lawyers’ Roles, Responsibilities, and Regulation (Oxford University Press 2000)

"Everyday Practice Is the Troubling Case: Confronting Context in Legal Ethics" in Everyday Practice and Trouble Cases (Northwestern University Press 1998)

"Social Engineers or Corporate Tools? Brown v. Board of Education and the Conscience of the Black Corporate Bar" in Race, Law and Culture: Reflections on Brown v. Board of Education (Austin Sarat ed., Oxford University Press 1997)

"Introduction: Race in Context" in Color Conscious: The Political Morality of Race (K. Anthony Appiah & Amy Gutmann eds., Princeton University Press 1996)

Prior Courses Taught

Cause Lawyers – Seminar

Future(s) of the Large Law Firm – Seminar


Commencement Speaker, University of Iowa Law School (5/09)

University of the Future, COUR Symposium, Harvard University (5/09)

A Timely Discussion of Ethics and Professionalism, Judge Alvin B. Rubin Symposium, Federal Bar Association, New Orleans Chapter, (5/09)

Team of Rivals? Toward a New Model of the Corporate Attorney-Client Relationship, Russell Sage Foundation, New York (4/09)

After the JD: Legal Careers in Transition, Annual Education Conference, The Association for Legal Career Professionals (NALP), Washington, DC (4/09)

After the JD: Legal Careers in the Twenty First Century, The J. Donald Mawhinney Lectureship in Professional Ethics, University of British Columbia, Vancouver (3/09)

Team of Rivals? Toward a New Model of the Corporate Attorney-Client Relationship, University of Iceland (2/09)

New Results from After the JD, Wave II: Seven Years into a Lawyer's Career, American Bar Foundation, Boston (2/09)

Progress? The Academy, Profession, Race and Gender: Empirical Findings, Research Issues, Potential Projects and Funding Opportunities, Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting, San Diego (1/09)

Black Lawyers and the Age of Obama, University of Chicago Law School, October 2008

From Agents to Partners: Toward a New Model of the Corporate Attorney-Client Relationship, Order of the Coif Distinguished Visitor Lecture, Chicago-Kent College of Law, October 2008

Workshop on Professional Development and Pro-bono, Penn State Dickinson School of Law, October 2008

From Agents to Partners: Toward a New Model of the Corporate Attorney-Client Relationship, Ryan Lecture, Georgetown Law School, September 2008

Legal Ethics Panel, Fordham Law School, June 2008

Yale Legal Theory Workshop, Yale Law School, May 2008 learn more

Urban Law School Graduates, Amherst College, April 2008

Current Legal Problems Lecture, University College, London, March 2008

Toward a Joint Venture Model of the Attorney/Client Relationship Between Corporations and their Outside Counsel, Nichols Lecture, Stetson University, March 2008

After the J.D.: Preliminary Evidence from a Ten-Year Longitudinal Study of Lawyer Careers, Yale Law School, February 2008 watch video

The Profession in Crisis, 4th Biennial Worldwide Meeting of the Harvard Law School Alumni Association, June 2007

‘Affirmative Action’ in Law Firms: The Next Debate, National Conference for the Minority Lawyer, Boston, MA, June 2007

Diversity in the Legal Profession: A Conversation with Professor Wilkins, Legal Defense and Education Fund Annual Celebration of Brown v. Board of Education, May 2007

Wilkins, David B. The Louis W. & Edmund J. Kahn Liberal Arts Institute Lecture, Smith College (2004)

Wilkins, David B. Thurgood Marshall Lecture, Roger Williams School of Law (2004)

Wilkins, David B. Pope & John Lecture, Northwestern Law School (2004)

Wilkins, David B. Frankel Lecture, University of Houston Law Center (2003)

Wilkins, David B. Wythe Lecture, William & Mary School of Law (2002)

Wilkins, David B. Martin Luther King Day Lecture, Seattle Bar Association (2002)

Wilkins, David B. Van Arsdell Lecture, University of Illinois School of Law (2002)

Wilkins, David B. Allen Siegel Lecture, Duke Law School (2002)

Wilkins, David B. Arthur W. Fiske Lecture, Case Western Reserve School of Law (2001)

Wilkins, David B. Martin Luther King Lecture, Vanderbilt Law School (2001)

Wilkins, David B. Iredell Lecture in Law and History, Lancaster University, England (2000)

Wilkins, David B. W.M Keck Lecture, Georgetown Law Center (1998)


Wilkins, David B. "Good Work: on professional norms and treacherous temptation of 'moral freedom'," Harvard Magazine, 2004 (reviewing Fischman, et. al., Making Good: How Young People Cope with Moral Dilemmas at Work)

Wilkins, David B. "Affirmative Action’s Real Value to a University," The Boston Globe, February 13, 2001, at A11

Wilkins, David B. "The Affirmative-Action President’s Dilemma," Chicago Tribune, February 7, 2001, at 17

Wilkins, David B. "Five Reasons Why Law Firms Are Not Making Progress on Diversity," Chicago Bar Record, 1999

Wilkins, David B. "Each One, Teach One," Harvard Magazine, July/August 1998

Wilkins, David B. "Charles Hamilton Houston and the Nobler Tradition of the Harvard Law Review," Harvard Law Bulletin, 1998

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