A Vocation-Based System of Ethics for Law Students

14 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2010

See all articles by Jerome M. Organ

Jerome M. Organ

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: 2004


This article sets forth a set of ethical principles by which I would encourage law students to order their lives, so as to make the experience of law school, and ultimately the practice of law, more fulfilling. The principles are grounded in the concept of vocation and the idea that being a law student is one of several vocations to which individuals should be attendant. Thus, the first ethical principle is one of balance among the multiple vocations each individual must live out. The second ethical principle focuses on defining success based on faithfulness to one’s vocations.The third ethical principle deals with cooperation – appreciating that law school involves a learning community in which we can learn much, inside and outside the classroom, from our peers. The fourth ethical principle is that of pro bono service – of embracing a responsibility to use one’s talents and skills to be of service to others. Finally, the article concludes with an emphasis on the fifth ethical principle – that of reflection, of thinking about and reflecting upon how we live our lives and whether we are maintaining balance and defining success in relation to our vocations.

Keywords: vocation, balance, success, pro bono, cooperation, reflection

Suggested Citation

Organ, Jerome M., A Vocation-Based System of Ethics for Law Students (2004). South Texas Law Review, Vol. 45, No. 4, p. 997, 2004, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1597740

Jerome M. Organ (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas - School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States

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