Legal Ethics Education in Russia and US

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Long title: 
The Role of Legal Ethics Education in Improving the Legal Profession: A Comparison of Russia and the U.S.
Author(s): 
Davidyan, Gayane and Genty, Philip
Author(s)' contact information: 
Moscow State University, Russia Columbia Law School, USA
Conference title: 
International Legal Ethics Conference VI
Conference location: 
City University London
Country: 
Russian Federation
USA
Year: 
2014

Drawing on our individual teaching experiences and recent collaborations in New York and Moscow, we will compare legal ethics education in the United States and the Russian Federation. Each of us teaches a course of our own design on legal ethics and the profession in our respective law schools. In addition, we have worked together in Moscow on an innovative weeklong ethics conference for law students. We have also collaborated on ethics sessions in New York, when Professor Davidyan has brought groups of students for study tours.
We will first discuss the structure of legal ethics education in each of our countries. We will then describe pedagogical and practical aspects of our courses:
• Content: issues covered and reasons for these choices; comparison of the ways the issues are defined and arise in practice in each society
• Credits, number of students, frequency of class sessions
• How courses fit into the curriculum (e.g. compulsory/elective; relationship, if any, with other courses offered)
• Teaching methodologies
We will then examine our respective goals and priorities for students, e.g. substantive knowledge of ethical codes; awareness of ethical challenges they will face as lawyers and strategies for addressing these; critical perspective on the legal profession.
Finally, we will discuss what we see as the most important ethical issues in our respective societies and examine the extent to which legal ethics education can address these issues and improve the legal profession.

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