Mercer University
Mercer Law School

Center For Legal Ethics and Professionalism

On December 31, 1999, Judge Hugh Lawson of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Georgia signed a Consent Order and Final Judgment that settled allegations of litigation misconduct involving E.I. Du Pont Nemours & Company and its counsel. That order provided that Du Pont would provide the funding to endow a professorial chair at each of the four ABA-accredited law schools in Georgia, including the Walter F. George School of Law of Mercer University. The court's order provided that the chairs "shall be devoted to fostering and teaching professionalism and ethics in the practice of law." The faculty and administration of the Walter F. George School of Law chose to implement that order by creating the William Augustus Bootle Chair in Ethics and Professionalism in the Practice of Law and by directing that the primary responsibility of the holder of the Bootle Chair would be to direct the operation of the Mercer Center for Legal Ethics and Professionalism.

Since 2000, Professor Patrick Longan has held the Bootle Chair and directed the Center. Professor Longan's charge as Director of the Center has been, and is, to engage in a variety of in-house and outreach educational activities with the purpose of improving the professionalism of students, lawyers and judges. Those activities have included the production of original video teaching materials related to ethics and professionalism and the creation of an innovative course on professionalism for first-year law students. The Center also has hosted a series of symposia on ethics and professionalism and sponsors an ongoing project to collect the oral histories of distinguished Georgia lawyers and judges.

Professor Longan welcomes your suggestions and can be reached by telephone at 478-301-2639 or by e-mail at

Approximately 430 students are enrolled at Mercer Law School from across the nation and more than 70 colleges and universities.