The Foundational Skill of Reflection in the Formation of a Professional Identity

12 St. Mary's J. On Legal Malpractice and Ethics (2022)

20 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2021

See all articles by Neil W. Hamilton

Neil W. Hamilton

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: September 10, 2021

Abstract

The Foundational Skill of Reflection in the Formation of a Professional Identity © Neil Hamilton Forthcoming in 12 ST. MARY’S J. ON LEGAL MALPRACTICE & ETHICS (2022)

There is a growing scholarly literature on the professional development and formation of law students into the core values, guiding principles, and well-being practices considered foundational to successful legal practice.1 This growing scholarly literature can guide effective curriculum development to foster student growth toward later stages of development on these learning outcomes. This article focuses on the skill of reflection as one of the most effective curricular strategies to foster each student’s growth toward later stages of these learning outcomes. This same curricular strategy will also be effective in engaging practicing lawyers to grow toward these same goals.

Part II of the article analyzes the available empirical studies on the importance of the skill of reflection for professional development and formation of new entrants into a profession. Part III focuses on medical education’s experience to build framework of observable activity on the skill of reflection. Part IV presents a Milestone Model on the skill of reflection. Part V of the article provides a grading rubric for individual reflection writing assignments. Part VI discusses why guided reflection at key transition points for law students with a coach is the most effective curriculum.

Keywords: professional identity, professional formation, reflection, professionalism, leadership

Suggested Citation

Hamilton, Neil W., The Foundational Skill of Reflection in the Formation of a Professional Identity (September 10, 2021). 12 St. Mary's J. On Legal Malpractice and Ethics (2022), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3921251

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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