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Ethical Professional (Trans)formation

Submitted by John Marshall on Thu, 10-22-2015
Long title
Ethical Professional (Trans)formation: Themes from Interviews about Professionalism with Exemplary Lawyers
Hamilton, Neil W. and Verna E. Monson
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Santa Clara Law Review
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United States
Professional identity formation, once an afterthought in post-graduate education, is now increasingly becoming a focus. This is particularly true of American legal education, which has now adopted standards that exhort law schools to focus on nurturing a student's sense of ethical professional identity. Law schools' challenge is not just how to teach professional identity formation but to understand what it means for lawyers to have well-formed professional identities. Professors Hamilton and Monson's article "explore[s] the critical need for a fundamental paradigm shift in legal education" -- one that focuses on developing each law students "ethical professional identity." The authors tackle this challenge not just by engaging the theoretical constructs and guidance on this topic, but by performing a series of interviews with a group of honored ethical exemplar attorneys. These interviews not only help inform how the best lawyers understand an ethical professional identity, but also delve into the critical considerations regarding how ethical professional identity is modeled and taught.
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