Red State, Blue State: Lawyers, Politics & Moral Counseling

A film essay on ethics and professionalism, Red State, Blue State brings a fresh viewpoint to the ongoing debate about the role of morality in the practice of law. The film is offered as a free resource for law school classes and continuing legal education programs; it also is available as an online program that is accredited by the New York State CLE Board for experienced attorneys to earn one (1) nontransitional, ethics and professionalism credit hour. Learn more about the online CLE program.


The film poses these questions:

  • Should lawyers bring their personal morality into the counseling of clients?
  • Why do most lawyers reject moral counseling in favor of amoral partisanship?
  • Is our understanding of the lawyer’s role connected to a particular political philosophy?

Featuring interviews with:  

  • Doug Ammar
  • Robin Barnes
  • Erwin Chemerinsky
  • Lawrence Fox
  • Heather MacDonald
  • John McGinnis
  • Russell Pearce
  • Deborah Rhode
  • William Simon
  • Kenneth Starr
  • David Wilkins

The film is inspired by the scholarship of Russell Pearce, the Edward & Marilyn Bellet Chair in Legal Ethics, Morality, and Religion and a co-director of the Louis Stein Center for Law & Ethics at Fordham Law School.

Access the Viewer’s Manual on SSRN. (PDF)

Download the New York State CLE instructions and quiz. (PDF)

Watch the video on YouTube.