The University of Akron School of Law building


The Miller Becker Center for Professional Responsibility (MBC) is a nationally recognized academic center dedicated to enhancing public trust and confidence in the legal profession and the judicial system.



In-person | 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Friday, April 12, 2024
Brennan Courtroom, Room 180
The University of Akron School of Law

The University of Akron School of Law Miller Becker Center speaker

Lucian T. Pera

Speaker: Lucian T. Pera, partner with Adams and Reese, LLP. Bio

From all directions, unmistakable signals show that the American legal profession and the business of law is currently in the midst of great change. A tour d’horizon reveals two broad categories of change—those driven by economics and those driven by regulatory reforms.

 Credit has been requested through the Supreme Court of Ohio, Commission on CLE, for 1.0 hour.


MBC News

Director of The Miller Becker Center receives the OSBA Eugene R. Weir Award for Professionalism

Jack P. Sahl and Justice Michael P. Donnelly of the Ohio Supreme Court

Jack Sahl receives the Eugene Weir award. Pictured with Justice Michael P. Donnelly of the Ohio Supreme Court.

Professor Sahl recieves 2019 Weir award for professionalism.

Jack Sahl pictured with Robin Weaver, president of the Ohio State Bar Association (2018).

Jack P. Sahl, recipient of the 2019 Eugene R. Weir Award for Ethics and Professionalism. Each year, the Weir Award recognizes lawyers for his or her commitment and work to professional responsibility in the legal field.

Sahl is a Professor of Law and Director of the Joseph G. Miller Center for Professional Responsibility at UA. In addition, he is a national and international speaker and consultant on professional responsibility.

Recipients for this award are chosen based on:

  • Contributions made in the professional responsibility field
  • The recipients nominations by Ethics Committee members

Sahl’s research is focused in the areas of professional ethics, legal malpractice, lawyer discipline, judicial ethics and administration, cinema and the legal profession, and sports and entertainment law. More recently, Professor Sahl newly published a chapter, “What Every Entertainment Lawyer Needs to Know – How to Avoid Being the Target of a Legal Malpractice Claim or Disciplinary Action,” in the Practising Law Institute book, Counseling Clients In The Entertainment Industry 2019.

Recent events

  • November 3, 2023
    Paula Frederick, Chair of the ABA’s Center for Professional Responsibility and General Counsel for the State Bar of Georgia, speaksabuot howthe ABA is proposing a change to Rule 5.5 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (governing unauthorized practice of law and multijurisdictional practice) that would allow any lawyer admitted in any United States jurisdiction to practice law and represent willing clients without regard to the geographic location of the lawyer or the client. Advocates say the rule change would better reflect the way lawyers practice in the 21st century, remove barriers to client choice, and reduce the access to justice gap. Opponents are concerned about how lawyers working across borders would be regulated.
  • March 31, 2023
    Professor Michael Cassidy, Professor and Dean’s Distinguished Scholar, Boston College Law School, discussed Using Rule 5.1 to Combat Prosecutorial Misconduct. Professor Cassidy will explained if Bar Disciplinary authorities were more aggressive in using Rule 5.1 to attack institutional rather than individual failures, it would provide incentive for prosecutor's offices across the country to publish internal guidelines and train line prosecutors on how to comply with them.
  • November 4, 2022
    Professor Benjamin Cooper, Senior Associate Dean, Professor of Law, and Frank Montague, Jr. Professor of Legal Studies and Professionalism at University of Mississippi School of Law, discussed the regulatory innovations in the delivery of legal services that are taking place in several jurisdictions across the country. Professor Cooper discuseds the two major types of reform that are occurring: (1) permitting non-lawyers to deliver legal services on a limited basis and (2) relaxing Rule 5.4 which prohibits non-lawyer ownership of law firms, outside investment in law firms, non-lawyer management of law firms, and sharing fees with non-lawyers.
  • April 20, 2022
    Professor Margaret Tarkington of the Indiana University McKinney School of Law presented the Distinguished Lecture in Professional Responsibility titled, The 2020 Election & Constitutional Government: Examining the Rights & Responsibilities of Lawyers. The event attracted over 110 attendees to the law school and will be available online.
  • Oct. 25, 2019
    The day-long Annual Miller Becker Center (MBC) Seminar took place in Columbus at the Ohio State Bar headquarters. A speakers’ dinner on Oct. 24 preceded the event. The Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Conduct and the Ohio State Bar Association co-sponsored the Seminar.
    The focus of last week’s program primarily concerned the impact of social media and technology on lawyer behavior and the use of both to investigate lawyer and judicial misconduct. The conference speakers included experts from Ohio and elsewhere and attracted approximately 150-plus lawyers and judges.
  • Feb. 5, 2019
    "Representing Medical Malpractice Claimants- Some Common Ethics Issues" Speaker: Attorney Antonios P. Tsarouhas. Presented by The Joseph G. Miller and William C. Becker Center for Professional Responsibility and The Career Services Office
  • Nov. 14, 2018
    "Common Ethics Considerations in Large Firm Litigation Practice" Speaker: Attorney Pete Cahoon. Presented by The Joseph G. Miller and William C. Becker Center for Professional Responsibility and The Career Services Office

Video and more

Lawyers and the Globalization of Legal Services Series

Laurel S. Terry with Jack Sahl from The University of Akron

Laurel S. Terry and Jack Sahl

International Developments, Internationals Networks, and their Impact on U.S. Legal Ethics

Laurel S. Terry, Professor of Law and H. Laddie Montague Jr. Chair in Law at Penn State, was the speaker at the inaugural lecture of the “Lawyers and the Globalization of Legal Services” Series in April. See Laurel S. Terry's biography.

Since the 2016 election, “globalization” has become a more politicized term than it was previously and a term that elicits strong reactions. The lecture addressed the impact of globalization on the legal profession, legal ethics, and lawyer regulation. It explains why international developments are relevant to lawyers, clients, and the public throughout the United States and why it is worth learning acronyms such as ABS, FATF, GATS, and PMBR. Terry's lecture highlighted the importance of international networks, including networks of law firms, in-house counsel, government lawyers, legal ethics practitioners, legal ethics academics, and regulators.

PDF icon Laurel Terry's remarks at Akron Law

Akron Legal News: Akron Law sponsors globalization of the legal industry lecture

Peter Cahoon, UA alumnus, standing outside of a law building

Alumnus in the spotlight


Partner at Buckingham, Doolittle & Burroughs, LLC

I am a litigation attorney with a focus on domestic relations (family law), criminal defense, and government investigations of companies and individuals. I also represent licensed professionals such as attorneys, physicians, pharmacists and nurses in disciplinary investigations and proceedings.

Over the past 42 years, I have tried numerous cases to judges, juries and hearing panels throughout northeast Ohio. I am past President of the Akron Bar Association, and have chaired the Certified Grievance Committee, the Criminal Law Committee and the Family Law Section of the Akron Bar Association. In addition, I am a Fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. I have been an adjunct instructor of Trial Advocacy at the University of Akron School of Law for more than twenty years.

Because each area in which I practice involves a likelihood of a contested trial or hearing, there is often a high level of conflict and risk for my clients. I help my clients manage the uncertainties of litigation and keep them informed of possible outcomes. I want my clients to feel in control and a part of the process in which they are involved.

The University of Akron School of Law was instrumental in preparing me for my career in handling professional responsibility matters. The late Dean Samad was my professional responsibility professor. Following law school, I also had the privilege of working on many matters with the late William Becker. He was an outstanding lawyer, and an even better person. I learned an awful lot from both Dean Samad and Professor Becker.

I am grateful for the opportunity the University of Akron School of Law gave me to have a great education and to make lifelong friends.

Publications from Miller Becker Center at UA

Center Director

Heather Zirke, Director of the Miller Becker Center for Professional ResponsibilityHeather Zirke (bio) is the Director of the Miller Becker Center for Professional Responsibility and Assistant Professor of Law. Prior to joining the faculty at Akron Law, she was the Principal of the Zirke Law Firm concentrating in legal ethics, disciplinary defense, and bar admissions matters. Heather served 16 years as General Counsel and Bar Counsel for the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. She has appeared before the Supreme Court of Ohio, the Board of Professional Conduct, the Board on Character and Fitness, and the Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law. She is a member of the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Proactive Management Based Regulation Committee and previously served on the Court’s Task Force on the Disciplinary System. She is a member of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility and a frequent speaker on legal ethics.

Contact us

Heather Zirke, Director

Katia Lagasse, Program Coordinator

The MBC Director’s Office is in Room 205 of the C. Blake McDowell Law Center (map)

MBC Faculty Fellows

Martin Belsky Martin H. Belsky is the Emeritus Dean of the Law School. He has organized and participated in various ethics conferences. Professor Belsky also served as the chief prosecutor in Philadelphia and Counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. He currently serves on the board of the Akron Bar Association. See his bio.

Richard Lavoie Richard Lavoie is a Dean's Club Professor of Law at The University of Akron Law School. His interests include tax ethics and statutory interpretation. See his bio.

Jack Sahl Jack Sahl is an Emeritus Professor and former Director of the Miller Becker Center for Professional Responsibility. He serves on the Ohio State Bar Association Professionalism Committee and as Chair of the Publications Board for the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility. In 2019, he received the Eugene R. Weir Award for Ethics and Professionalism, the highest ethics recognition the Ohio State Bar Association awards.See his bio.

MBC Advisory Board

William C. Becker
Ohio Attorney General’s Office

Anthony Damelio
Nationwide Insurance Co.

Joseph N. Gross
Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP

Kenneth M. Kaufman
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Jeannette L. Knudsen
The J.M. Smucker Company

Janet Green Marbley
Client’s Security Fund

Lucian T. Pera
Adams and Reese LLP

Harry D. Cornett
Tucker Ellis LLP

Peter A. Joy
Washington University – St. Louis School of Law

Tracy L. Kepler
ABA Center for Professional Responsibility

The Honorable Sara Lioi
United States District Court – Northern District of Ohio

Prof. James Moliterno
Washington and Lee University School of Law

Brian F. Toohey
Former Jones Day Principal Loss Prevention Partner

MBC Student Fellows

2018-19 Student Fellows

  • Hilary DeSaussure
  • Kevin Burns

The student fellows assist in the planning and implementation of Miller Becker Center programming. They also act as a liaison for the center with University personnel, law students, media and the bar.