Monday, May 24, 2021

Revised Proposal for Professional Identity Training

The ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar met on May 14 to consider a proposal to add professional identity training to the law school curriculum.  The Council decided to resubmit the proposal for notice and comment because of suggested changes to the language of the proposal by commenters.  (here)

Here is the revised proposal:

(b) A law school shall provide substantial opportunities to students for:

(1) law clinics or field placement(s);

(2) student participation in pro bono legal services, including law-related public service activities.; and

(3) the development of a professional identity.

Interpretation 303-5

Professional identity focuses on what it means to be a lawyer and the special obligations lawyers have to their clients and society. The development of professional identity should involve an intentional exploration of the values, guiding principles, and well-being practices considered foundational to successful legal practice. Because developing a professional identity requires reflection and growth over time, students should have frequent opportunities during each year of law school and in a variety of courses and co-curricular and professional development activities.

I expect that the revised proposal will be sent out for notice and comment later this week or next week.  I will post again when it is.

(Scott Fruehwald)

Update: The Council has put out a call for Notice and Comment on the revised language.  You can find it here.

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