Thursday, March 22, 2001

WRITER: Kathy R. Pharr, (706) 542-5172, pharr@arches.uga.edu

CONTACT: Caldwell Professor Milner Ball, (706) 542-5236


ATHENS, Ga. - Thomas L. Shaffer, one of the nation's foremost experts in the areas of legal ethics and law and religion, will deliver the University of Georgia School of Law's 93rd Sibley Lecture on Wednesday, April 4 at 1 p.m. in the law school's Hatton Lovejoy Courtroom. The lecture, "Lawyers as Prophets, Consolers, Neighbors," and the reception which follows are open to the public without an admission charge.

Shaffer, the Robert and Marion Short Professor Emeritus of Law at the Notre Dame Law School, has written nearly 300 scholarly works in his varied areas of expertise including estate planning, law and religion, legal ethics and, most recently, clinical teaching and legal counseling. Selected books include Lawyers, Clients and Moral Responsibility; American Lawyers and Their Communities; Faith and the Professions; and On Being a Christian and a Lawyer: Law for the Innocent.

Shaffer calls the lecture "an exploration of ethical possibilities for lawyers in the biblical categories of prophet, consoler and neighbor." He continues: "All of these, and particularly the first, are suggested by [UGA Caldwell] Professor Milner Ball's recent book, Called by Stories: the prophet - particularly the prototype of the prophet in Judaism, Moses; the second by the prophet Rachel; and the third by the dominant biblical ethic, in both Judaism and Christianity, love of neighbor."

Shaffer joined the Notre Dame law faculty in 1963 and taught primarily in the area of estate planning. He served as associate dean from 1969-'71, and as dean from 1971-'75. Shaffer was a member of the Washington and Lee University law faculty from 1979-'88, where he served as director of the Frances Lewis Law Center and as the Robert E.R. Huntley Professor of Law. He then rejoined the Notre Dame faculty as a chaired professor. For most of his recent tenure, he has been a supervising attorney in the Notre Dame Legal Aid Clinic, teaching clinical ethics and guiding the legal practice of law students who serve the needy in the South Bend area. Shaffer has served as visiting professor at numerous law schools including the University of Los Angeles, the University of Virginia, the University of Maine, and Boston College. He has also participated in conferences and presented lectures at law schools across the country.

"Tom Shaffer is one of the best known and most loved people in the profession," said Caldwell Professor Milner Ball, who is organizing this spring's Sibley Lecture. "He is also one of our leading prophetic critics."

Shaffer will spend several days at the UGA law school and, in addition to delivering the Sibley Lecture, will meet with students and faculty in various small-group discussion settings.

Shaffer earned his bachelor's degree from the University of Albuquerque in 1958 and his law degree cum laude from Notre Dame in 1961, where he graduated first in his class and served as editor-in-chief of the law review, Notre Dame Lawyer. In 1983, St. Mary's University in San Antonio, Texas honored him with an a doctorate (LL.D.).

Shaffer's professional memberships include: the Society of Christian Ethics (since 1985); the Jewish Law Association (since 1986); the executive committee of the Association of American Law Schools (AALS, 1975-'76); and the accreditation committee of the American Bar Association (ABA, 1975-'81). From 1970-'77 and again from 1981-'85, he served on the board of advisers of the Journal of Law and Ethics.

The Sibley Lecture Series, established in 1964 by the Charles Loridans Foundation of Atlanta, is designed to attract outstanding legal scholars of national prominence to the law school. It honors the late John A. Sibley, a 1911 law school graduate who served for many years as chair of the board of the Trust Company of Georgia.


A photograph of Professor Tom Shaffer is available electronically via UGA Communications' Photographic Services Web Site at http://photo.alumni.uga.edu/photohome.htm You will need to search for Shaffer by name.