Answering the Skeptics on Fostering Ethical Professional Formation (Professionalism)

The Professional Lawyer, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2011

U of St. Thomas Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-05

13 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2011

See all articles by Neil W. Hamilton

Neil W. Hamilton

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

Verna Monson

University of St. Thomas; Cultural Dynamics Consulting

Date Written: March 13, 2011

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Hamilton, Neil W. and Monson, Verna, Answering the Skeptics on Fostering Ethical Professional Formation (Professionalism) (March 13, 2011). The Professional Lawyer, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2011; U of St. Thomas Legal Studies Research Paper No. 11-05. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1791216

Neil W. Hamilton (Contact Author)

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

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

Verna Monson

University of St. Thomas ( email )

Minneapolis, MN 55403
United States

Cultural Dynamics Consulting ( email )

55414
612 (Phone)

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