Monday, October 19, 2020
I would like to thank Jim for asking me to be a part of this blog nine years ago. I appreciate having a forum to discuss the vitally important subject of legal education. I also owe a deep debt to our late colleague, Lou Sirico, for the encouragement he gave me over the years. Finally, I would like to thank our readers who made working on this blog worthwhile.
Jim mentioned the many positive changes that have occurred over the last ten years in legal education. However, we still have a long way to go. (here) Many law schools are still mainly using the traditional Socratic/case method approach, when better teaching methods exist. We are cheating our students if we don't use the best teaching approaches based on research by educational scholars.
I am especially concerned by how legal ethics is taught at most law schools. (here) At present, most law schools only teach the ethical rules, failing to develop the inner lawyer (professional identity). Professional identity is a lawyer’s personal legal morality, values, decision-making process, and self-consciousness in relation to the practices of the legal profession (legal culture). It provides the framework that lawyers use to make all their decisions. It is important that all law schools help their students develop their professional identities.
I hope that Jim and I are able to keep this blog going for many years to come. There is nothing more important to the legal profession than educating the next generation of lawyers.