A Professional Formation/Professionalism Challenge: Many Students Need Help with Self-Directed Learning Concerning Their Professional Development Toward Excellence

28 Pages Posted: 15 Feb 2015

See all articles by Neil W. Hamilton

Neil W. Hamilton

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: February 2, 2015

Abstract

Self-directed learning is a critical competency for each law student and new lawyer. The data presented in this article indicate that about a third to more than half of the first year students are at an earlier stage of self-directed learning regarding their professional development toward the competencies needed to serve clients well than where they need to be, and where their law school and the profession need them to be. Malcolm Knowles defined self-directed learning as "a process by which individuals take the initiative, with or without the assistance of others, in diagnosing their learning needs, formulating their learning goals, identifying the human and material resources for learning, choosing and implementing appropriate learning strategies, and evaluating learning outcomes."

This article presents both a clear learning outcome for students to address this challenge regarding self-directed learning and a curriculum called ROADMAP: THE LAW STUDENT'S GUIDE TO PREPARING AND IMPLEMENTING A SUCCESSFUL PLAN FOR MEANINGFUL EMPLOYMENT (forthcoming ABA Books 2015) designed to help each student grow toward the learning outcome. The article provides an evaluation of the effectiveness of the ROADMAP curriculum at helping students achieve the learning outcome.

Keywords: professional formation, professionalism, self-directed learning, competency model

Suggested Citation

Hamilton, Neil W., A Professional Formation/Professionalism Challenge: Many Students Need Help with Self-Directed Learning Concerning Their Professional Development Toward Excellence (February 2, 2015). Regent University Law Review, Vol. 27, Forthcoming, U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-3, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2564571

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

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