Monday, December 17, 2012

A Former Student Gets Disbarred

It isn’t the first time that a former student has gotten in trouble with a disciplinary committee, but these incidents are always discouraging to me. In this particular case, the student did something that was outrageous and his sanction was justified. (I’ll leave out the name and the incident—no reason to create more embarrassment).

 As a student, he was bright and hardworking. I never heard rumors that suggested he was dishonest or unbalanced.  I don’t think there was anything I could have done to strengthen his moral fiber. Still, I feel a great sense of disappointment in him and, I guess, in myself. Maybe my disappointment in myself is misplaced, but maybe there is something in the training we offer future professionals that is inadequate.


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I think gathering data about what our former students have done to prompt discipline might be very productive. My first instinct would be to reach out to get the story but there should be a purpose. If hard working apparently students end up getting disbarred we should know what sorts of experiences lead to that result, both to help future students and also, perhaps, to help practitioners avoid taking those steps that lead to sanctions in the first place. Does anyone out there know if any empirical work has beendone along these lines? liz

Posted by: Liz Ryan Cole | Dec 19, 2012 8:20:20 AM

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