Taxonomizing Professional Identity Formation: The Soul of Legal Education
67 Saint Louis University Law Journal, Forthcoming 2023
44 Pages Posted: 21 Sep 2022 Last revised: 18 Nov 2022
Date Written: August 1, 2022
Following the ABA’s recent mandate requiring law schools to provide students with opportunities for “professional identity formation,” this is the first article to taxonomize the field of professional identity formation advanced or employed in U.S. law schools. By organizing this muddled field into three dominant approaches and examining the primary and sometimes unspoken goals of each, this article unveils the potential pitfalls in this project, including the possibility of coercion, indoctrination, impotence, or waste. Ultimately, this article paves the way for more honest, open, and fruitful dialogue and debate as law schools strategically plan how best to engage in the professional identity formation of future lawyers.
Keywords: professional identity formation, professionalism, legal education, legal ethics, law students, wellbeing, values, virtue, cultural competency, aba standards
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