Professional Formation and the Political Economy of the American Law School

22 Pages Posted: 24 May 2016

See all articles by Louis D. Bilionis

Louis D. Bilionis

University of Cincinnati College of Law

Date Written: May 24, 2016


This article proposes that a comprehensive model for doing professional formation in law school is now in sight. The model can work for formation – which is to say that it has the right vision of the fundamentals and the appropriate program features and pedagogies to effectively support students in the development of their professional identities. The model also can work for the political economy of the typical American law school – which is to say that its strategy and approach to roles and resources makes it congenial to postulates about power, resources, work, and governance that shape relations inside the law school. The model can work because it leverages and reinforces the existing efforts of the law school’s faculty, staff, and external stakeholders – uniting those efforts in an enterprise-wide program that students can appreciate and use to their benefit. What is more, the habits a law school would cultivate applying the model also could well improve the school's political economy in ways it will appreciate when tackling the sizable challenges ahead for legal education.

Keywords: legal education, law schools, professional formation, professional identity, professionalism, pedagogy

JEL Classification: K4, K49, K10, L21

Suggested Citation

Bilionis, Louis D., Professional Formation and the Political Economy of the American Law School (May 24, 2016). Tennessee Law Review, Vol. 83, No. 3, 2016, U of Cincinnati Public Law Research Paper No. 16.09, Available at SSRN:

Louis D. Bilionis (Contact Author)

University of Cincinnati College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210040
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0040
United States

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