'How Can We Give Up Our Child?' A Practice-Based Approach to Teaching Legal Ethics

18 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2009 Last revised: 13 Dec 2012

See all articles by Clark D. Cunningham

Clark D. Cunningham

Georgia State University College of Law

Date Written: 2008


This article builds upon the work of the philosopher Alasdair McIntyre to suggest that a practice-based approach is not only a valid method for teaching values but indeed essential. Such an approach is also urged by the recent critique of American legal education published by the Carnegie Foundation and validated by extensive social science research on moral development. The Four Component Model of moral behavior developed by James Rest and applied to professional education by Muriel Bebeau is then applied to an example taken from the author’s law school course on professional responsibility, in which he uses written and audiovisual documentary materials in combination with simulation exercises, drawing from the well-known “Baby Jessica” adoption case. The article was an invited contribution to a special issue on the Values of Common Law Education of the Law Teacher: the International Journal of Legal Education, which is the official journal of the Association of Law Teachers (United Kingdom).

Keywords: legal ethics, pedagogy, teaching, legal education, Carnegie Foundation, Carnegie Report, Alasdair McIntyre, Four Component Model

JEL Classification: I29, K00, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Cunningham, Clark D., 'How Can We Give Up Our Child?' A Practice-Based Approach to Teaching Legal Ethics (2008). Law Teacher, Vol. 42, p. 312, 2008, Georgia State University College of Law, Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2009-24, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1498676

Clark D. Cunningham (Contact Author)

Georgia State University College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 4037
Atlanta, GA 30302-4037
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.clarkcunningham.org

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics