Sunday, April 24, 2011

Teaching Ethics across the Curriculum

A few years ago, several legal writing teachers began advocating writing across the curriculum--teaching writing in all classes. I think that a similar thing needs to be done with legal ethics. It is not enough to teach professionalism and ethics in just one class; we need to reinforce it in all classes.


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On this point, I need to brag a bit about Thomas Cooley Law School and its professionalism plan.

In 2006, we received the ABA's Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Award for the "outstanding achievement in the design and implementation of a model professionalism program."

You can read more about our professionalism across the curriculum and throughout the school here

and here

Posted by: Evelyn Calogero | Apr 26, 2011 4:31:27 AM

This idea was first suggested by Deborah Rhode in the late 1980s. Her book "Ethics by the Pervasive Method," was designed to support teaching ethics across the curriculum. I think it is marvelous that these days many teachers address ethics issues in their courses, all of them. Teaching ethics across the curriculum would not, however, be an adequate substitute for the basic professional responsibility course, for the same reasons we would not teach contracts or writing across the curriculum in place of the focused contracts or writing course.

Posted by: Jim Moliterno | Apr 25, 2011 5:08:03 AM

I can't imagine NOT teaching ethics and professional responsibility in every substantive class. There are so many opportunities to introduce ethical issues: representation of multiple clients, confidentiality issues, etc. etc.

Posted by: Steve Zorn | Apr 24, 2011 12:58:51 PM

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