Sunday, April 8, 2012
Last Friday, I discussed an article that advocated teaching legal ethics throughout the first year of law school. I thought it would be good to follow this post with the Carnegie Report's statement on teaching professionalism and professional identity.
"[I]t is possible to imagine a continuum of teaching and learning experiences concerned with the apprenticeship of professional identity. At one end of the continuum would be courses in legal ethics, in particular those directly oriented to the "law of lawyering" that students must master in order to pass the bar examination. A bit further along would fall other academic courses, including those of the first year, into which issues concerning the substantive ends of law, the identity and role of lawyers, and questions of equity and purpose are combined with the more formal, technical issues of legal reasoning. Approaches of this sort are often called the "pervasive method" of teaching ethics. Further along the continuum we encounter courses that directly explore the identity and roles of lawyers, the difficulties of adhering to larger purposes amid the press of practice, and the way professional ideals become manifest in legal careers. Further still fall lawyering courses that bring questions of both competence and responsibility to clients and to the legal system into play. Finally, at the continuum’s other end, we find externships and clinical courses in which direct experience of practice with clients becomes the focus." (Carnegie Report at 180-81)