RULE 1.1 COMPETENCE
A lawyer shall provide competent representation to a client. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.
Legal Knowledge and Skill
 In determining whether a lawyer employs the requisite knowledge and skill in a particular matter, relevant factors include the relative complexity and specialized nature of the matter, the lawyer's general experience, the lawyer's training and experience in the field in question, the preparation and study the lawyer is able to give the matter and whether it is feasible to refer the matter to, or associate or consult with, a lawyer of established competence in the field in question.
 A lawyer need not necessarily have special training or prior experience to
handle legal problems
of a type
with which the lawyer is unfamiliar to the lawyer. A newly
admitted lawyer can be as
competent as a practitioner with long experience. Some important legal skills, such as the
of precedent, the evaluation of evidence and legal drafting, are required in all legal
representations. Perhaps the most fundamental legal skill consists of determining what
kind of legal
problems a situation may involve, a skill that necessarily transcends any particular specialized
knowledge. A lawyer can provide adequate representation in a wholly novel field through
study. Competent representation can also be provided through the association of a lawyer of
established competence in the field in question.
 In an emergency, a lawyer may give advice or assistance in a matter in which
the lawyer does
not have the skill ordinarily required to competently represent the client without violating these
What The definition of an emergency is
depends upon all of the circumstances which
surround surrounding the request for advice or assistance and the
lawyer's decision to accept
representation of the lawyer to give it. Relevant circumstances include,
but are not limited to , (a)
the client's past relationship with the lawyer; (b) whether the
practicality, considering the means of
the client to referral to or consultation or association refer to,
consult with or associate with another
lawyer; would be impractical taking into account the means of the client,;
(c) the matter upon which
advice is requested; and (d) the time and location of the
contact with the lawyer; (e) whether the
lawyer has been requested asked to render immediate services; and
(f) whether the lawyer
reasonably determined that legal services were immediately required. Even in an emergency,
however, assistance should be limited to that reasonably necessary in the circumstances, for ill
considered action under emergency conditions can jeopardize the client's interest. A
understand that this Rule, while containing an emergencyexception to the general
competence, may not limit the lawyer's liability to a client for malpractice should it prove that
lawyer's advice damaged the client. See Rule 1.8(i)(h).
 A lawyer may accept representation where the requisite level of competence can be achieved by reasonable preparation.
 To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer must keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements.
Thoroughness and Preparation
 Competent handling of a particular matter includes inquiry into and analysis of
the factual and
legal elements of the problem, and use of methods and procedures meeting the standards of
competent practitioners. It also includes adequate preparation. The required attention and
preparation are determined in part by what is at stake; major litigation and complex transactions
ordinarily require more
elaborate extensive treatment than matters of
lesser consequence. An
agreement between the lawyer and the client regarding the scope of the representation may limit
matters for which the lawyer is responsible. See Rule 1.2(c).
Reference: Minutes of the Professional Conduct Subcommittee of the Attorney Standards Committee on 09/29/83, 09/20/85 and 01/31/86; Minutes of the Joint Committee on Attorney Standards on 11/19/04, 06/14/05.