Educating the Total Jurist?

Journal of Legal Ethics, Vol. 8, pp. 208-221, 2006

24 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2006

See all articles by Wesley Pue

Wesley Pue

University of British Columbia (UBC), Faculty of Law


This paper discusses a discontinuity between the ways in which legal education has historically sought to reconstruct the soul of lawyers-in-training and the contemporary conceit that legal education can be value-free. It identifies a gap between early 21st century narrowly technocratic approaches to legal professionalism - epitomized by Enron professionalism and earlier conceptions of lawyering. A desire to instill a moral sensibility in apprentice lawyers weighed heavily in an earlier generation's thinking about legal education everywhere in the common law world, giving rise to the programmes, schemes, and imaginings that provided templates for contemporary university legal training. With surprising consistency, law teachers have sought to devise pedagogical strategies aimed at constituting or remaking the entire human subject - constructing, as it were, a total jurist. They have done so in order to advance good for its own sake, but also to protect against the mere half-lawyer.

Keywords: professionalism, culture, education, legal profession, ethics, morals, social construction

JEL Classification: K40, K49, I20

Suggested Citation

Pue, Wesley, Educating the Total Jurist?. Journal of Legal Ethics, Vol. 8, pp. 208-221, 2006. Available at SSRN:

Wesley Pue (Contact Author)

University of British Columbia (UBC), Faculty of Law ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1

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