Ethics Counsel

Ethics Opinion No. 228

Adopted April 16, 1964


It has come to our attention that members of the Bar who are in the National Guard or the Reserve components of the armed forces are being required to perform legal services for the personnel of their organizations during drill periods or short tours of active duty which in no way pertain to their military training; to wit, preparation of wills, examination of abstracts, consultation on other civilian legal problems. We are asked if such services violate ethical principles.


While it is recognized that National Guard and Reserve Officers on active duty for even short periods are fully subject to military orders, it is felt that utilization of their services in the manner indicated in the inquiry not only fails to accomplish the purpose of their active duty (i. e. furtherance of their knowledge of their duties in the legal branch of their Service) but actually constitutes an improper practice in the same manner that such services performed by counsel for a union or trade association for individual members thereof has been condemned.

Opinion No. 273 of ABA and Nos. 55 and 153 of this Association.

* The foregoing opinion was prepared by a member of the committee, was not approved by the Legal Ethics Committee because it was believed that this was not a proper subject for consideration by the Ethics Committee. Nevertheless, the opinion was approved by the Executive Council and ordered published.