Paul L. Caron

Friday, March 5, 2021

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Comment: The Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has proposed a change to Standard 303 that would require law schools to provide substantial opportunities for "the development of professional identity."  (here) 

If adopted, this program would be a significant change in the law school curriculum.  Professional identity development is very different from the current legal ethics class.  Ethics is the rules of professional conduct, while professionalism is the ability to act in a professional manner, such as politeness, thoroughness, and getting work done on time. In contrast, professional identity is a lawyer’s personal legal morality, values, decision-making process, and self-consciousness in relation to the practices of the legal profession (legal culture).  The “difference between a lawyer told to be professional who acts in this way, and one who acts this way because of her professional identity, is that the lawyer herself believe that these are the ways she should act."  (Benjamin V. Madison III)  It requires self-reflection and the "nurturing of of a sense of professional self-consciousness."  (Id.)  In sum, professional identity provides the framework that a lawyer uses to make all her decisions.

I strongly support the adoption of this proposal.  You can send comments on the proposal to until March 31.

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