A future for legal education: professional development and ethics

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Long title: 
A future for legal education: professional development and ethics
Author(s): 
Duncan, Nigel
Author(s)' contact information: 
n.j.duncan@city.ac.uk City Law School, 4, Gray's Inn Place London WC1R 5DX UK
Conference title: 
Engaging Legal Education: Higher Education Academy Law Summit - learning and teaching
Conference location: 
Loughborough University
Country: 
UK
Year: 
2014

The LETR finds: “The centrality of professional ethics and legal values to practice across the regulated workforce is one of the clearest conclusions to be drawn from the LETR research data, …”
It recommends that:
“LSET schemes should include appropriate learning outcomes in respect of professional ethics, …” (Rec 6),
“The learning outcomes at initial stages of LSET should include reference (as appropriate to the individual practitioner’s role) to an understanding of the relationship between morality and law, the values underpinning the legal system, and the role of lawyers in relation to those values.” (Rec 7)
Furthermore, the regulators are seeking greater flexibility in the processes by which individuals may become qualified to provide legal services and propose regulation by outcomes, which is likely to imply less prescription of the content of legal education programmes. In this changing environment law schools face the challenge of proving the inherent value of their programmes and have the opportunity to develop a genuinely distinctive offering which meets the interests of their students and their faculty.
This presentation will explore the variety of approaches which might be adopted to considering how the relationship between morality and law, the values underpinning the legal system, and the role of lawyers in relation to those values might be addressed most effectively into undergraduate law degrees. In so doing it will consider the perceived dichotomy between providing a liberal education and meeting the needs of the profession in the light of the guidance in para 7.89 of the LETR Report. It will make use of the insights drawn from the series of Teaching Legal Ethics UK workshops held over the last two years and make proposals for future collaboration.

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