Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Law School Ethics Becomes ‘Real,’ Tackles Covid, Social Justice

Bloomberg Law, Law School Ethics Becomes ‘Real,’ Tackles Covid, Social Justice:

Standard legal ethics courses, long considered dry and theoretical by many students, have experienced a renaissance over the past two years due to the pandemic and an increased focus on social justice.

Law school professional responsibility professors say they’ve shifted the focus of their classroom conversations, putting more emphasis on practical topics like what the post-pandemic law office will look like and how to incorporate principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion in future lawyers’ practices. ...

Professional responsibility has always had the concepts of access to justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion “baked into it,” said Sarah Williams, who teaches the course at Penn State Dickinson Law School. But the past two years have “made those conversations real for the students,” said Williams.

Between the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement, “it’s become a much more engaging course,” said Robert M. Jarvis, a legal ethics professor at Nova Southeastern University’s Shepard Broad College of Law in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

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