Kathleen Clark

Professor of Law


B.A., 1984, Yale University
J.D., 1990, Yale University

Curriculum Vitae




Andrea Donze - (314) 935-6422

Phone / Email

Phone: (314) 935-4081
Email: kathleen@wustl.edu  


Anheuser-Busch Hall, Room 585

Courses Taught

National Security Law
The Ethics of Lawyering in Government
Secrecy and Whistleblowing
Legal Ethics Writing Seminar


Kathleen Clark, John S. Lehman Research Professor, is a leading expert on legal ethics and serves on the D.C. Bar Rules of Professional Conduct Review Committee. She also teaches and writes about ethics standards for current and former government officials and government contractors as well as the law of whistleblowing. Her extensive academic work on government ethics and corruption has been cited in hundreds of books and articles, and her scholarship has been excerpted in casebooks. She has led ethics workshops in Nigeria, Venezuela, Russia, Japan, Poland, Australia & Canada and conducted in-person and web-based ethics training for federal, state and local agencies. Clark recently served as Special Counsel to the Attorney General of the District of Columbia; wrote an Ethics Manual for the District’s 32,000 employees; and provided advice on ethics, open government and campaign finance laws. She is the Associate Reporter for the American Law Institute’s Principles of Government Ethics, drafting a treatise on anti-corruption standards. The Administrative Conference of the United States (ACUS) commissioned Clark to investigate how government ethics standards apply to contractor personnel, and her report became the basis for ACUS’s recommendation for the adoption of such standards. In 2011, the Federal Acquisition Regulatory (FAR) Council issued a regulation imposing such standards on some contractor personnel. Clark teaches courses on government and legal ethics, the law of whistleblowing and national security law. She co-authored a Washington Post op-ed about the Justice Department torture memo, and later expanded that analysis into Congressional testimony and a law review article. She has written about government lawyers who have blown the whistle on perceived misconduct and Congressional lawyers involved in intelligence oversight. She created a course on government and political ethics for the law school’s Congressional & Administrative Law Program in Washington, D.C., and taught that course for 13 years. She also created another course, The Law of Whistleblowing in Comparative Perspective, and taught that course at Utrecht University. Clark has taught at the University of Michigan and Cornell law schools, and was a 2010-11 Israel Treiman Faculty Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Physics and Philosophy from Yale College, studied Russian in the Soviet Union, and studied Spanish in Guatemala. After graduating from Yale Law School, Clark clerked for Judge Harold H. Greene, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and served as counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, where she drafted health care fraud legislation and worked on issues of white-collar crime.

Representative Publications

Recent Articles and Book Chapters

  • "Faux Transparency: Ethics, Privacy and the Demise of the STOCK Act’s Massive Online Disclosure of Employees Finances", (with Cheryl Embree) in Research Handbook on Transparency (Padideh Ala’I & Robert Vaughn, eds.) 312-34 (2014)
  • "Lawyer Confidentiality, Open Government Laws & Whistleblowing," 21 Pub. Law. 14 (Summer 2013)
  • "Conflicts, Confidentiality and the Client of the Government Lawyer," 21 Pub. Law. 11 (Winter 2013)
  • "Direct and Indirect Access to Intelligence Information: Lessons in Legislative Oversight from the United States and Canada," (with Nino Lomjaria) in Secrecy, National Security and the Vindication of Constitutional Law (David Cole, Federico Fabbrini & Arianna Vedaschi, eds.) 75–94 (2013)
  • "Limited Oversight: Legislative Access to Intelligence Information in the United States and Canada," (with Nino Lomjaria) 6 J. Parliamentary & Political Law, 523 (2012)
  • "Ethics, Employees & Contractors: Financial Conflicts In & Out of Government", 62 Alabama Law Review 961 (2011)
  • "Reporter’s Memorandum No. 3," American Law Institutes Principles of Government Ethics (2011)
  • "Congress's Right to Counsel in Intelligence Oversight," 2011 University of Illinois Law Review 915 [SSRN]
  • "Fiduciary Standards for Bailout Contractors: What Treasury Got RIght and Wrong in TARP," 95 Minnesota Law Review 1614 (2011) [SSRN]
  • "Ethics for an Outsourced Govenment"(Administrative Conference of the United States 2011) [SSRN]
  • "A New Era of Openness?: Disclosing Intelligence to Congress under Obama," 26 Constitutional Commentary 313 (2010) [SSRN]
  • "The Architecture of Accountability: A Case Study of the Warrantless Surveillance Program," 2010 Brigham Young University Law Review 357 [SSRN]
  • "Restrictions on Gifts and Outside Compensation for Executive Branch Employees," (with Beth Nolan) in The Lobbying Manual (William V. Luneburg & Thomas M. Susman, eds.) 513-23 (4th ed. 2009)
  • "Confidentiality Norms and Government Lawyers," 85 Washington University Law Review 1033 (2007)SSRN 
  • "Ethical Issues Raised by the OLC Torture Memorandum," 1 Journal of National Security Law p. 455 (2005)SSRN 
  • "Regulating the Conflict of Interest of Government Officials," in Conflict of Interest in the Professions (Michael Davis & Andrew Stark, eds.) 49-60 (2001)
  • "The Legacy of Watergate for Legal Ethics Instruction," 51 Hastings Law Journal 673 (2000)SSRN 
  • "The Lawful & the Just: Moral Implications of Unequal Access to Legal Services," 2 Journal of the Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics (1999)SSRN 
  • "The Ethics of Representing Elected Representatives," 61 Law and Contemporary Problems 31 (Spring 1998) SSRN 
  • "Paying the Price for Heightened Ethics Scrutiny: Legal Defense Funds and Other Ways that Government Officials Pay Their Lawyers," 50 Stanford Law Review 65 (1997)SSRN 
  • "Toward More Ethical Government: An Inspector General for the White House," 49 Mercer Law Review 553 (1997)SSRN 
  • "Do We Have Enough Ethics in Government Yet? An Answer from Fiduciary Theory," 1996 University of Illinois Law Review 57 SSRN 
  • "Is Discipline Different? An Essay on Choice of Law and Lawyer Conduct," 36 South Texas Law Review 1069 (1995)SSRN 

Forthcoming Scholarship

  • "Financial Rewards for Whistleblowing Lawyers," (with Nancy Moore) 56 Boston College Law Review (forthcoming 2015)
  • "Restrictions on Giving Gifts to Executive Branch Employees," (with Cheryl Embree) in The Lobbying Manual (Rebecca Gordon, ed.) (5th ed. forthcoming 2015)