Monday, April 11, 2022

Teaching Law Students Cross-Cultural Competence

The ABA recently made significant changes to the standards for legal education.   Among these changes is a new requirement to include cross-cultural competence training in the curriculum.  Here is a new book to help law students learn cross-cultural competence.

A Guide to Help Lawyers, Law Students, and Business Professionals Develop Cross-Cultural Competence by E. Scott Fruehwald (2021).

We live in a diverse world, and cross-cultural competence is important for everyone. This is especially true for lawyers and business professionals.

A key part of being a lawyer or business professional is the ability to deal with others. Part of this ability is the recognition that the people you will deal with come from many different cultures and backgrounds. We are all human, but there is a great deal of variation among humans. This is why I have written this book.

While cross-cultural competence has been an essential part of medical education and business for years, it is not usually part of legal education. However, it is essential to attorney competence, and it can give practitioners a competitive edge. Similarly, lack of cross-cultural competence can cause international business failure and ruin careers.

"Cross-cultural competence" is the "ability to understand people from different cultures and engage with them effectively." It involves "‘the ability to function effectively in another culture', consisting of three interdependent dimensions: 1) an affective dimension (personality traits and attitudes), 2) a cognitive dimension (how individuals acquire and categorize cultural knowledge), and a communicative, behavioral dimension (being an effective communicator)."

(Scott Fruehwald)

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