Wendy J. Muchman

Professor of Practice


Wendy Muchman is the Harry B. Reese Professor of Practice at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. Since 2000 she has primarily taught classes in Professional Responsibility, including the standard ABA required course in Legal Ethics. In addition, along with another lecturer, Ms. Muchman developed and currently teaches several innovative ethics courses, including Legal Ethics for the Global Practitioner; Legal Ethics for Business Lawyers; Legal Ethics for the Government and Public Sector Attorney; Ethics in Motion, AI, Technology, and Ethics; and The Law of Whistleblowing. Teaching Awards: In 2019- 2020, she was the recipient of the Robert Childres Award presented annually to the faculty member selected by the student body as the year’s most outstanding teacher. In 2018-2019, she received the award for Outstanding Professors of a Small Class 2018-2019, with Mary Foster.

Between 1989 and 2019 she was employed as a bar regulator at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois (ARDC), where she most recently served as Chief of Litigation and Professional Education. She investigated and prosecuted innumerable lawyer disciplinary cases including the first contested lawyer-client improper sexual relations case in Illinois, In re Rinella, 175 Ill.2d 504, 677 N.E.2d 909 (1997), and cases involving allegations of civility, conversion, billing fraud, conflicts of interest, and public corruption. In addition, she prosecuted In re Paul M. Weiss, M.R. 27547, 2008 PR00116 (Nov. 17, 2015) where an attorney was disbarred for repeat and egregious conduct of an improper sexual nature to multiple victims. Her job responsibilities at the ARDC included supervision and training of the litigation attorneys and staff as well as presenting workshops regarding professional responsibility and disciplinary law to various national and state bar association groups, law firms, judges and law schools. 

Over the course of the past two decades Ms. Muchman has presented hundreds of different professional responsibility workshops on a state and national level. Some recent examples of presentations include: 

  • Fall 2020: Loyola Women in Law Conference (keynote speaker): The Realities of Reporting Unethical Conduct Directed Toward Women Lawyers
  • Fall 2019: 58th Annual Garrett Corporate Counsel Institute: Lessons Learned from Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup;
  • Spring 2019: ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility: Harassment and Discrimination in the Rule 8.4(g) and #MeToo Era;
  • Spring 2018: ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility: Aggravating and Mitigating Factors in Attorney Discipline Cases.
  • February 2016: National Organization of Bar Counsel: Breaking (it Down) Bad: The Science of Money Laundering
  • April 2016: 36th Annual Garrett Corporate Counsel Institute: Ethics in the Corporate Setting
  • May 2014, 34th Annual Garrett Corporate Counsel Institute: A roundtable discussion on pitfalls of emerging technology and other ethical issues

Other teaching experience includes courses at Chicago-Kent College of Law where she taught intensive trial advocacy and a course she developed, Ethics and Advocacy. She coached the student trial team for a national ethics trial competition for two years resulting in a fourth place and a first-place finish. Teaching award: Adjunct Professor of the Year in 2013-2014. 

She is a faculty member for the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) for regional and national trial advocacy, and deposition programs, as well as various law firm training workshops, and serves as a team leader for the Midwest Regional Trial Program. 

Ms. Muchman has extensive experience in various bar association groups focusing on Professional Responsibility. For the year 2020-2021, Ms. Muchman is Immediate Past President of the National Organization of Bar Counsel (NOBC) and has served the NOBC in numerous leadership roles since 2013. She is currently the NOBC Liaison to the American Bar Association Standing Committee and Ethics and Professional Responsibility. 

Ms. Muchman serves as Vice-chair of American Bar Association Government and Public Lawyers Division (ABA) where commencing in 2012 she was an elected member-at-large to the Council and in 2018 was elected to the Board. She is an appointed member of the ABA Standing Committee on International Trade in Legal Services for a term 2019-2022. In 2019-2020 she is a member of the ABA Working Group for Evaluation and Development of a Model Code of Conduct for Judicial Law Clerks. 

In the years 2019-2021 she is an appointed member to the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility Conference Planning Committee. Other work for the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility includes in 2018, Ms. Muchman, with the assistance of a Northwestern law student, Alexander Bai, served as a chapter author to update the First Edition of the ABA Annotated Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions which was published in Spring 2019 as the second edition. She co-authored with Daniel Linna an article that was recently published, Ethical Obligations to Protect Client Data when Building Artificial Intelligence Tools: Wigmore Meets AI, The Professional Lawyer, Vol 27 No. 1 (Oct. 2020).

In 2019-2020, she served as a member of the Chicago Bar Association Task Force on the Sustainable Practice of Law & Innovation on the subcommittee of the Plain Language Ethics Rules. 

Since 2018 Ms. Muchman has served the National Conference of Bar Examiners as a subject matter expert for the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam. In 2019-2020 she serves as an Affiliate of the Illinois Supreme Court Committee on Professional Responsibility. 

In 2013 she was selected to participate as a fellow in the National Institute for Teaching Ethics and Professional Responsibility. 

Between 2009 and 2011 she served as the Vice-Chair, then Chair, of the Chicago Bar Association Committee on Professional Responsibility. Prior to 1989 when she started her employment at the ARDC, Ms. Muchman litigated in the state and federal courts. Areas of practice included insurance litigation, civil rights, age discrimination and aviation defense work. 

She received her JD from DePaul University College of Law and her BA from the University of Illinois, Champaign/Urbana. 


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Areas of Expertise

  • Legal Ethics

Prior Appointments

  • Harry B. Reese Teaching Professor of Practice, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
  • Senior Lecturer, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Lecturer, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Adjunct, Legal Ethics, 2000-2014, Northwestern University School of Law
  • Chief of Litigation and Professional Education, Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission

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