Opinion 98-67
June 19, 1998
Digest:    A full-time judge may apply for a position teaching law at a law school or university using judicial stationery, provided that the correspondence is marked "Personal and Unofficial."

Rules:    22 NYCRR 100.4(B); 100.4(H)(1); 100.4(H)(1)(c) ;
              Opinions 94-40 (Vol. XII); 92-05 (Vol. IX).


            A full-time judge inquires as to the propriety of applying for a teaching position at a law school or university by sending a letter that would introduce the judge, describe his/her background and experience and inquire as to the availability of a teaching position. The judge further asks whether official judicial stationery can be used for this purpose if the correspondence is designated as "Personal and Unofficial."

            The answer to this inquiry is found in section 100.4 of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct. Section 100.4(B) allows a judge to speak, write, lecture, teach and participate in extra-judicial activities. 22 NYCRR 100.4(B). Section 100.4(H)(1) provides that a full-time judge may receive compensation and reimbursement of expenses for permitted extra-judicial activities, if the source of the such payment does not give the appearance of influencing the judge's performance of judicial duties or otherwise give the appearance of impropriety. 22 NYCRR 100.4(H)(1). Section 100.4(H)(1)(c) allows a judge to receive the ordinary compensation for a lecture or for teaching a regular course of study at any college or university if the teaching does not conflict with the proper performance of judicial duties. 22 NYCRR 100.4(H)(1)(c).

            In Opinion 92-05 (Vol. IX), this Committee concluded that a full-time judge is permitted to accept employment as an adjunct professor of law. Subsequently, the Committee noted that "...since it is ethically allowable for a full-time judge to accept a paid teaching position, it is likewise allowable for a judge to apply for and pursue one". Opinion 94-40 (Vol. XII).

            Since it is allowable for a judge to apply for and pursue a teaching position with a law school or university and since the fact that the applicant is a judge would normally and properly be disclosed as part of the application process, it is ethically permissible for a judge to write a letter of inquiry and application using judicial stationery provided that the correspondence is conspicuously marked "Personal and Unofficial."