Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Stressing Professional Development at the University of St. Thomas University School of Law

Over the past few weeks, I have been examining law schools that stress the development of law students' professional identities.  Another law school doing this is the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minneapolis.

Professional Formation

"We help each student attain personal and professional satisfaction by developing the qualities of excellence, social responsibility, and ethical integrity.  Our students acquire strong technical skills and develop the habits necessary for professional growth through individual reflection, personal dialogue with faculty and other mentors, moral development, and vocational discernment."  (here)

Learning Outcome 1: Professional Formation and Ethical Responsibilities
"Graduates will demonstrate an understanding of their professional and ethical responsibilities in serving clients, the profession, and society. Whether working in law, business, government, or the non-profit sector, each graduate will be able to describe his or her evolving professional identity, which is grounded in a moral core, includes a commitment to self-directed professional learning, and reflects a concern for the disadvantaged and those who lack access to justice."  (here)

St. Thomas also has a center for ethical leadership:

Thomas E. Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions

"The Holloran Center is one of 13 national centers in law schools devoted to ethics and professionalism that is recognized by the American Bar Association's (ABA) Center for Professional Responsibility. The Center’s mission is to provide innovative interdisciplinary research, curriculum development, and programs focusing holistically on the formation of both students and practicing professionals into ethical leaders in their communities. In fulfilling the mission, the Holloran Center seeks to address the most compelling ethical issue facing education in the professions and business: How can higher education most effectively foster the ethical professional formation of each student and practicing professional?"

The Center offers three courses for students: Ethical Leadership in Corporate Practice, Ethical Leadership in Litigation, and Ethical Leadership in Social Justice.

(Scott Fruehwald)


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