“The Ethics of the Overwhelmed (Trump makes me tired, how about you?)”
It is hard to care about government ethics these days. There’s too much. Which news stories should we care about and which ones are simply designed to get us all riled up? Is democracy over? Is it too late to care? Does it even matter if I do care? Maybe I should focus on my mental health instead.
NOTE: I am not a licensed mental health care provider. This talk is about working as an ethics attorney at four different government agencies- HUD, FTC, USDA, HHS. I will include hopeful ideas for future government reforms, but we may end up discussing our feelings of defeat. Maybe bring tissues.
Cheryl Embree graduated law school in 2007 and moved to Washington, D.C. with big hopes and dreams and a car full of all her earthly possessions. She began working as a government ethics attorney during the final months of the George W. Bush administration. It is now 2020, and she has stories. She also has a good understanding of ABA Rule 1.6, which governs the attorney/client privilege and confidentiality. And! Rather miraculously, she still has big hopes and dreams.