Lance Cole

Professor of Law, Honorable W. Richard and Mary M. Eshelman Faculty Scholar, and Director, Center for Government Law and Public Policy Studies

Lance Cole is the director of the Center for Government Law and Public Policy Studies. Dickinson Law’s Government Center administers semester-in-practice programs in Washington, D.C. for law students interested in federal government practice and in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for students interested in state government practice.

Professor Cole has extensive practice and public service experience in Washington, D.C, including service on the staff of the 9/11 Commission and the United States Senate Special Committee on Whitewater.

Professor Cole is an expert on business law, corporate securities law, white collar crime, and the law of congressional investigations and oversight. His research and scholarship focus primarily on the conduct and defense of governmental investigations, analyzing issues such as the application of the attorney-client privilege, the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, and the rules of professional conduct to governmental investigations.

Professor Cole is the co-author with Professor Stanley M. Brand of a textbook on the law of Congressional Investigations and Oversight and has published numerous law review articles on government law and policy topics in law journals at Columbia, Texas, Villanova, Yale, and other law schools. His most recent articles have examined the crime-fraud exception to the attorney-client privilege in governmental investigations and prosecutorial misconduct issues related to “perjury traps” in grand jury investigations.

Select Publications by Professor Cole

Congressional Investigations: Cases and Materials (Carolina Academic Press, 2010) (with Stanley Brand)

Lance Cole


Phone  717-240-5215


Prof. Cole News and Activity

Prof. Cole in the Media

Faculty Impact

J.D., Harvard Law School

B.S., University of Arkansas

Current Courses
Business Entities II: Corporations

Congressional Investigations Seminar

Lawyering and Ethics for the Business Attorney Seminar

White-Collar Crime

Cole's Publications

Congressional Investigations and Oversight: Case Studies and Analysis, 2d Edition, Carolina Academic Press (forthcoming 2022);

Perjury Traps, Prosecutorial Misconduct, and the Penn State Three Case: A Cautionary Tale for Prosecutors and Defense Counsel, 30 Geo. Mason Civ. Rts. L. J. 235 (Summer 2020)

Paul Manafort, Monica Lewinsky, and the Penn State Three: When Should the Crime-Fraud Exception Vitiate the Attorney-Client Privilege?, 91 Temple L. Rev. 533 (2019) (winner of the Edward Ohlbaum Annual Paper in Advocacy Award)

Multiple Representation Meltdown: “Penn State Three” Case Illustrates Entity Representation Pitfalls for Both Criminal Defense Counsel and Prosecutors – and the Need for Systemic State Law Reforms, 79 Pitt. L. Rev. 583 (2018)

Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? A Panel Discussion on the Regulation of Political Corruption,” 121 Penn State Law Review 1027 (Spring 2017) (panel moderator)

Semester-in-Residence Programs: Design, Implementation, and Best Practices,” in Experiential Education in the Law School Curriculum (Carolina Academic Press 2017) (with Camille C. Marion)

“Making Corporate Law More Communitarian: A Proposed Response to the Roberts Court’s Personification of Corporations,” 81 Brook. L. Rev. 895 (Spring 2016) (with Robert M. Ackerman)

“Environmental Enforcement Actions in Pennsylvania — Ethics Essentials,” in Environmental Enforcement Actions in Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania Bar Institute Nov. 2015)

“The SEC's Corporate Cooperation Policy: A Duty to Correct or Update?", 41 Securities Reg. L. J. 127 (Summer 2013)

Building Better Blue Ribbon Commissions,” Benzinga

Congressional Investigations: Cases and Materials (with Stanley M. Brand, Carolina Academic Press, 2010)

“Special National Investigative Commissions: Essential Powers and Procedures (Some Lessons from the Pearl Harbor, Warren Commission, and 9/11 Commission Investigations),” 41 McGeorge L. Rev. 1 (2009)

“U.S. Government Cooperation Policies: Encouraging Cooperation or Coercing Capitulation?” EU Financial Services Regulation: Completing the Internal Market, Academy of European Law (ERA publication 206 R 08, 2006)

“Reexamining the Collective Entity Doctrine in the New Era of Limited Liability Entities — Should Business Entities Have a Fifth Amendment Privilege?,” 2005 Colum. Bus. L. Rev. 1. (2005)

“How to Watch the Watchers,” The New York Times (op-ed with Richard Ben-Veniste) (September 7, 2004)

"Confidentiality," in Foundations of the Law and Ethics of Lawyering (George M. Cohen & Susan P. Koniak, eds. 2004) 

The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (W. W. Norton & Company, 2004; contributing staff member)

“Law Enforcement, Counterterrorism, and Intelligence Collection in the United States Prior to 9/11” (co-authored) and “Reforming Law Enforcement, Counterterrorism, and Intelligence Collection Inside the United States” (co-authored), in The 9/11 Investigations: staff reports of the 9/11 Commission (edited by Steven Strasser, Public Affairs, 2004)

Cole's Recent National and International Appointments

The American Museum of Tort Law
Academic Advisory Council
2021 Member