NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATIONProfessional
Ethics Committee Opinion
Opinion #151 - 08/28/1970
Topic: Application for position of attorney for school district
Digest: An attorney may properly submit an application for position
as attorney for a school district
Code: DR 2-103 (A)
A school district advertises that the Board of Education will fill a
vacancy in the position of attorney and requests interested parties to
submit a written letter of application. Is it ethically proper for a
lawyer to make such application?
In ABA 74 (1932) it was held that an application for appointment or
election to a municipal office which can only be filled by an attorney
was not the type of solicitation of professional employment at which
former Canon 27 was directed and that such an application by an attorney
was ethically proper.
This opinion was approved in ABA 244 (1942) and specifically held to
be still valid in ABA Inf. 941 (1966).
Lawyers willing to accept public office are limited in number, and if
the municipality asks lawyers generally to let it know who is interested
in accepting such a position, it is a matter of community service for
the lawyer to make known his willingness. Of course, the application
should be dignified, should give only the information asked for, and
should not indulge in unsolicited, self-laudatory statements. Bidding
for the position would, of course, be improper.
This committee approves and adopts the ABA opinion.