Answering the Skeptics on Fostering Ethical Professional Formation (Professionalism)
The Professional Lawyer, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2011
13 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2011
Date Written: March 13, 2011
The understanding of most law professors and practicing lawyers of when and how moral capacities develop ignores thirty years of accumulating knowledge in other fields, particularly moral psychology. This failure to understand new developments leads to a deep skepticism about educational engagements intended to foster the moral capacities of law students. This essay first outlines this skepticism and then rebuts the skepticism with the developing evidence about the stages of development for moral capacities and the potential for lifelong growth in these capacities. The essay includes some suggestions for pedagogies that are effective to foster these capacities.
Keywords: professional responsibility, professional formation, the professions, legal profession, moral learning
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