Biglaw Associate Who Cheated His Way To Six Figures Allowed To Practice In 3 States

Who cares about honor code violations when you could be making moneyyy

Cheat sheet in handAll the parents who tell their kids that cheating won’t get you ahead in life must not have met this Lewis Brisbois associate. What about character and fitness, you might say. A 5-2 panel responded to that question by saying so what.


In a 5-2 majority order Tuesday, the Maryland Supreme Court followed two other jurisdictions in approving [Samuel Edward Howie] to the state bar after his character was flagged for cheating on a University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law bar preparation exam during his final semester.

That’s right — three jurisdictions! Howie was given the benefit of doubt considering that there were no known ethical breaches in the 3 years that he’s been practicing law. He had this to say about his cheating:

“My cheating was lazy. It was lazy that I couldn’t spend up to just 90 minutes to complete an assignment. It was arrogant. Arrogant that I thought I knew better than the professor whether I was prepared for the bar exam,” Howie told court. ”It was selfish. It was selfish concerning the professor and to the other students of the class that completed the assignment in good faith. I’m more embarrassed about it than I am about any other mistakes I’ve made in my life combined.”

Those are surely the components of an apology, but the dissent saw it as damage control — as important as it is to recognize the consequences of being caught, there wasn’t much rumination on the moral shortcomings evidenced by the behavior. In short, the dissenting judges could have just quoted McGill’s “You’re Not A Real Lawyer” speech:


Instead, they went with the much more biting option — a play by play of Howie’s ethical shortcomings:

“Mr. Howie incurred honor code violations while attending law school for plagiarism and failing to disclose the honor code violation of another student who facilitated his plagiarism. Although he was previously admitted to the Bars of New Jersey and New York, he failed to disclose the violations to two of his four employers,” Hotten wrote, though the record did not reveal which employers knew or did not know…This record reflects a patterned lack of candor and a failure to appreciate a moral duty to the truth.

Enjoy the Lewis Brisbois gig. Good luck keeping it. I imagine having to disclose the honor code violations and risking a future employee reading the dissents could make the job hunt a little awkward.

Split Maryland High Court Approves Lewis Brisbois Associate for Admission to State Bar Following Cheating Scandal []


Chris Williams became a social media manager and assistant editor for Above the Law in June 2021. Prior to joining the staff, he moonlighted as a minor Memelord™ in the Facebook group Law School Memes for Edgy T14s.  He endured Missouri long enough to graduate from Washington University in St. Louis School of Law. He is a former boatbuilder who cannot swim, a published author on critical race theory, philosophy, and humor, and has a love for cycling that occasionally annoys his peers. You can reach him by email at and by tweet at @WritesForRent.