Sino-American Comparison of Teaching Ethics

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Long title: 
Contemporary Challenges in Teaching Legal Ethics: A Sino-American Comparison
Author(s): 
Hellman, Lawrence K.
Author(s)' contact information: 
Oklahoma City University, USA
Conference title: 
International Legal Ethics Conference VI
Conference location: 
City University London
Country: 
USA
Year: 
2014

Law schools in the United States operate under accreditation standards established and administered by the American Bar Association, acting under the authority of the United States Department of Education. In 1975, the standards for the approval of law schools were amended to mandate that each law school must require every student to receive education in “the history, goals, values, rules and responsibilities of the legal profession and its members.” Since then, there has been a proliferation of courses, professors, teaching materials, and scholarship devoted to teaching legal ethics. Still, in 2014, there is considerable dissatisfaction with the effectiveness of legal education for professional responsibility in the United States. Meanwhile, over the past three decades, the number of law schools in the People’s Republic of China has grown quite rapidly – to nearly 1,000. Yet, Chinese law schools have only recently begun to grapple with the challenges of developing effective instruction in professional responsibility. As has been the case in American law schools, this task is proving to be difficult. How similar are the challenges facing Chinese legal ethics professors to those that continue to confront American legal ethics professors? If the challenges are common, are there common solutions? To the extent that the challenges in the two countries differ, are there nevertheless useful insights that legal educators in each country can gain from the experience of those in the other? This paper will explore these three questions.

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