Revised ABA Standards 303(b) and (c) and the Formation of a Lawyer’s Professional Identity, Part 1: Understanding the New Requirements

By Neil W. Hamilton and Louis D. Bilionis

From PDQ in NALP Bulletin+
May 2022 edition




Editor’s Note: This is the first article of a two-part series, with the Part 2 appearing in the June 2022 edition of NALP Bulletin+.

 

Part 1 (see below): Examining Revisions to ABA Standards 303(b) and (c)

Section 1: Introduction

Section 2: Understanding the New Requirements

 

Part 2: Action Steps for Students, Schools, and the Legal Profession

Section 3: Why Are These Standard 303 Revisions an Opportunity to Benefit Students, Law Schools, and the Profession?
Section 4: Simple Action Steps to Realize These Benefits for Students and the School
Section 5: Conclusion


Part 3: Cross-Cultural Competency, Equal Access, and the Elimination of Bias, Discrimination, and Racism

Section 1: Examining ABA Standard 303 (c)
Section 2: The Values and Responsibilities of the Legal Profession and Its Members Should Include Cross-Cultural Competency, Equal Access, and the Elimination of Bias, Discrimination, and Racism
Section 3: The Work Ahead for Law Schools
Section 4: Getting Started – Four Opportunities and a Particular Challenge


Section 1: Introduction

The American Bar Association’s revisions to accreditation Standard 303 present an opportunity to improve legal education to the benefit of law students, law schools, and the legal profession. Entrepreneurial schools will take advantage of the opportunity to differentiate their graduates and the school. Employers can lend support to help law schools build a more effective curriculum to foster each student’s growth toward the full range of capacities and skills that legal employers and clients need.

The revisions add new requirements for a school’s program of legal education. Standard 303(b) has been revised to add that “a law school shall provide substantial opportunities to students for … (3) the development of a professional identity.” And a new subsection (c) has been added to Standard 303, providing that “[a] law school shall provide education to law students on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism: (1) at the start of the program of legal education, and (2) at least once again before graduation.” (See Resources: ABA.) There are new “Interpretations” that accompany the revisions to Standard 303, including two that provide guidance on the meaning of a professional identity and thereby illuminate the relationship between the revisions.

(1) New Interpretation 303-5 states that “professional identity focuses on what it means to be a lawyer and the special obligations lawyers have to their clients and society. The development of a professional identity should involve an intentional exploration of the values, guiding principles, and well-being practices considered foundational to successful legal practice. Because developing a professional identity requires reflection and growth over time, students should have frequent opportunities during each year of law school and in a variety of courses and co-curricular and professional development activities.”

(2) New Interpretation 303-6 provides “the importance of cross-cultural competence to professionally responsible representation and the obligation of lawyers to promote a justice system that provides equal access and eliminates bias, discrimination, and racism in the law should be among the values and responsibilities of the legal profession to which students are introduced.”

William Adams, the managing director of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, recently commented that “[w]e are aware that some schools may choose (although not be required) to comply with the Standard 303 amendments by new courses or course changes. We are also aware that the course approval process takes time at most schools. We are therefore requiring schools to have a plan in place by the fall of 2022 as to how the school plans to comply with the Standard 303 amendments with full implementation of the plan by fall of 2023.” (See Resources: Adams.)

As Section 3 of this article will explain in Part 2 appearing in the upcoming June 2022 edition, the revisions to Standard 303 offer a significant opportunity to benefit students, law schools, legal education, and the legal profession. While schools can achieve those benefits in diverse ways, there are some simple, immediate action steps that faculty and staff can undertake at the outset to make the process of change efficient and effective. Also in the upcoming June edition, Section 4 will outline those steps. Before exploring those matters, however, some important foundational concepts need to be addressed and developed. And so, in Section 2, we will begin by explaining the four components of a student’s professional identity and defining the skill of reflection.

This article borrows ideas from a new open-access Cambridge University Press book that we have authored titled, Law Student Professional Development and Formation: Bridging Law School, Student, and Employer Goals (2022). The book offers a framework, guiding principles, and practical suggestions for bringing purposeful support of law student professional identity formation into the American law school.

 

Section 2: Understanding the New Requirements

 

A. What Is a Student’s Professional Identity?

Interpretation 303-5 emphasizes that professional identity focuses on the special obligations that lawyers have to their clients and society, and should involve an intentional exploration of the values, guiding principles, and well-being practices considered foundational to successful legal practice. Interpretation 303-6 adds that the values and responsibilities of the legal profession include the importance of cross-cultural competence to professionally responsible representation and the obligation of lawyers to promote a justice system that provides equal access and eliminates bias, discrimination, and racism in the law.

It is necessary to define the special obligations lawyers have to their clients and society — the core values and guiding principles of the profession, including those noted in Interpretation 303-6, that are considered foundational to successful legal practice. In our new book, we synthesize the scholarship on lawyer professional identity and propose four fundamental goals (or learning outcomes) that capture these core values and guiding principles (see Resources: Learning Outcomes). A law school should help each student to understand, internalize, and demonstrate:

1.     a deep responsibility and care orientation to others, especially the client,

2.     ownership of continuous professional development toward excellence at the major competencies that clients, employers, and the legal system need,

3.     well-being practices, and

4.     client-centered relational skills, problem-solving, and good judgment that ground each student’s responsibility to and care for the client (see Resources: Carnegie).

Each of these four fundamental goals or learning outcomes defining a student’s professional identity merits further explanation.

 

Fundamental Goal 1: A deep responsibility and care orientation to others, especially the client

Have you ever experienced a healthcare team serving you (or a family member) as a patient and felt the team’s deep responsibility to care for you? Educators in medicine and nursing and top healthcare organizations in the world like the Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins have been working for years to learn how effectively to acculturate new entrants into deep care for the patient in teams. Legal educators can learn from the experience of healthcare educators (see Resources: Holmboe and Englander).

Deep responsibility to and care for the client are the principal foundations for client trust in the individual lawyer and the profession itself (see Resources: Sullivan). Deep responsibility and care essentially entail a fiduciary disposition or fiduciary mindset, using “fiduciary” in the general meaning of founded on trustworthiness. Each law student and new lawyer must learn to internalize a responsibility to put the client’s interests before the lawyer’s self-interest.

The legal profession also holds out other fiduciary mindset values and guiding principles relating to trust in each lawyer. The Model Rules of Professional Conduct emphasize that a lawyer must, at the minimum, meet professional levels of competence, diligence, communication, fairness in billing, confidentiality, loyalty, and respect for others in the legal system (see Resources: Model Rules). Law School Professional Responsibility courses tend to focus on compliance with these rules and the law of lawyering generally. The Preamble to the Model Rules also sets forth aspirational core values and guiding principles. For example, the Preamble states in paragraph 7 that “[a] lawyer should strive to attain the highest level of skill, to improve the law and the legal profession, and to exemplify the legal profession’s ideals of public service.” The Preamble emphasizes that “a lawyer should seek improvement of the law, access to the legal system, the administration of justice, and the quality of the service rendered by the legal profession,” and accentuates that:

a lawyer should be mindful of deficiencies in the administration of justice and of the fact that the poor, and sometimes persons who are not poor, cannot afford adequate legal assistance. Therefore, all lawyers should devote professional time and resources and use civic influence to ensure equal access to our system of justice for all those who because of economic or social barriers cannot afford or secure adequate legal counsel (see Preamble, paragraph 6).

Interpretation 303-6 similarly emphasizes the important values of cross-cultural competence and the obligation of lawyers to promote a justice system that provides equal access and eliminates bias, discrimination, and racism in the law.

Another core value of the profession is the development of a lawyer’s sensitive professional and moral judgment guided by personal conscience. The Model Rules contemplate that a lawyer will possess very broad discretion when exercising professional judgment to fulfill responsibilities to clients, the legal system, and the quality of justice, and the rules also recognize that the lawyer has a personal interest in being an ethical person who makes a satisfactory living.

The Preamble acknowledges that “difficult ethical issues” can arise from these potentially conflicting responsibilities and interests. “Within the framework of these Rules,” the Preamble observes, “many difficult issues of professional discretion can arise. Such issues must be resolved through the exercise of sensitive professional and moral judgment guided by the basic principles underlying the Rules.” (See Preamble, paragraph 9.) The Preamble further notes that “a lawyer is also guided by personal conscience and the approbation of professional peers.” (See Preamble, paragraph 8.)

A last core value is the development of independent professional judgment and the skill of candid counsel to serve a client. The Model Rules recognize that clients face many difficult ethical issues and that a lawyer should provide “independent professional judgment and render candid advice” to help the client think through decisions that affect others (see Rule 2.1). The comments to Rule 2.1 note that “[a]dvice couched in narrow legal terms may be of little value to a client, especially where practical considerations, such as cost or effects on other people, are predominant … It is proper for a lawyer to refer to the relevant moral and ethical considerations in giving advice.” The lawyer is not imposing the lawyer’s morality on the client. Rather the “relevant moral and ethical considerations” upon which the lawyer is to draw and offer counsel — and therefore needs to comprehend — include the client’s own tradition of responsibility to and deep care for others.

The foregoing defines the elements of a law student’s and lawyer’s fiduciary mindset. A fiduciary mindset calls on each law student and lawyer to:

1.     comply with the minimum standards of competency and ethical conduct set forth in the Rules of Professional Conduct,

2.     foster in oneself and other lawyers the core values of:

·       deeply caring for the client

·       striving to attain the highest level of skill

·       improving the law, providing pro bono service to the disadvantaged, and promoting a justice system that provides equal access and eliminates bias, discrimination, and racism in the law

3.     develop and be guided by personal conscience — including the exercise of “sensitive professional and moral judgment” and the conduct of an “ethical person” — when deciding all the “difficult issues of professional discretion” that arise in the practice of law, and

4.     develop independent professional judgment, including moral and ethical considerations, to help the client think through decisions that affect others.

           

Fundamental Goal 2: Ownership of continuous professional development toward excellence at the major competencies that clients, employers, and the legal system need

A student’s ownership of professional development toward excellence needs separate emphasis as a second foundational goal or learning outcome for a student’s professional identity. A new entrant to a profession must grow from being a passive student to being a pro-active professional with respect to professional development.

William Sullivan is the co-director of all five Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching studies of higher education for the professions. Sullivan believes that the “chief formative challenge” is to help each student entering a profession to change from thinking like a student who learns and applies routine techniques to solve well-structured problems toward the acceptance and internalization of responsibility to others (particularly the person served) and for the student’s own pro-active development toward excellence as a practitioner at all of the competencies of the profession (see Sullivan at xi, xv). Clients and patients need to trust that their lawyer or physician is dedicated above all else to care for them to the utmost of the professional’s ability (see ix).

Similarly, in the Carnegie Foundation’s study of medical education, Educating Physicians, the authors conclude that “[t]he physician we envision has, first and foremost, a deep sense of commitment and responsibility to patients, colleagues, institutions, society, and self, and an unfailing aspiration to perform better and serve with excellence. Such commitment and responsibility involve habitual searching for improvement in all domains ... and a willingness to invest the effort to strategize and enact such improvements.” (See Resources: Cooke.)

There are several research approaches, sailing under different terminologies, that give insight into the challenge of helping each student to develop toward the later stages of an internalized commitment to continuous professional development. Self-directed learning and self-regulated learning (defined below) are among the most common terms used in higher education to speak of a student’s growth to internalize a commitment to continuous professional development. Self-directed learning emerged from the adult learning literature whereas self-regulated learning developed primarily from the educational psychology literature (see Resources: Artino).

Although self-directed learning (SDL) and self-regulated learning (SRL) have developed from different literatures, the two areas of scholarship converge on the elements in Table 1 (see Resources: Cleary).

 

Table 1: Synthesis of the Competencies Where Self-directed Learning (SDL) and Self-regulated Learning (SRL) Converge

A student should pro-actively:

  1. diagnose and identify learning needs (SDL) or decide what to learn (SRL),
  2. identify resources for learning that meets the student’s needs (SDL) or plan how/when/where to learn (SRL),
  3. identify goals (SDL) or set mastery goals (SRL),
  4. implement the learning plan (SDL and SRL) but SRL goes deeper to include in the learning plan: (a) a cyclical feedback loop that allows the individual to gather information that is used to evaluate the effectiveness of their activities and respond to feedback; and (b) self-monitoring to keep track of and evaluate the individual’s behavior, performance and progress, and
  5. evaluate the learning process (SDL and SRL) but SRL goes deeper into determining the cause of the results and planning steps to improve in the future.


SDL also includes both the learner’s commitment to a learning contract and the educator’s role as a facilitator of learning and not primarily as a content source. Note that metacognition, or thinking about one’s own thinking including the degree to which individuals monitor, control, and regulate their own cognitive activities, is another term in this family of concepts, but it is normally incorporated under the broader conceptualization of self-regulated learning.




Fundamental Goal 3: Well-being practices

Bar organizations and legal educators have recognized an elevated risk in the legal community for mental health and substance abuse disorders (see, e.g., Path to Lawyer Well-Being, at 7). These well-being issues lead to law students and lawyers who are functioning below their ability and suffering because of substance-use and mental-health disorders. Interpretation 303-5 spotlights well-being practices as part of a student’s professional identity.

What is well-being? Lawrence Krieger and Kennon Sheldon analyze a robust branch of modern positive psychology self-determination theory (SDT) that provides an empirical framework to understand student well-being. They also outline the benefits to students, faculty, and staff of increasing student well-being. Krieger and Sheldon treat subjective well-being in their studies as the sum of (1) life satisfaction and (2) positive affect or mood (after subtracting negative affect). They utilize established instruments on each factor. Life satisfaction includes a personal (subjective) evaluation of objective circumstances such as one’s work, health, home, relationships, possessions, income, and leisure opportunities. Positive and negative affects are purely subjective, straightforward experiences of “feeling good” or “feeling bad.” (See Resources: Krieger and Sheldon-Data.)

What are the basic psychological needs that contribute to student well-being? SDT defines three basic psychological needs contributing to well-being: (1) autonomy (to feel in control of one’s own goals and behaviors); (2) competence (to feel one has the needed skills, including physical and mental health skills, to be successful); and (3) relatedness (to experience a sense of belonging or attachment to other people). Note that the first two professional identity goals or learning outcomes that started this article (a deep responsibility and service orientation to others, especially the client, and ownership of continuous professional development toward excellence) reflect significant aspects of SDT’s three basic psychological needs. Autonomy is considered the most important of the three basic psychological needs since people must have a well-defined sense of self and express their core values in daily life to function in a consistent way (see Resources: Krieger).

 

Fundamental Goal 4: Client-centered relational skills, problem-solving, and good judgment that ground each student’s responsibility to and care for the client

Interpretation 305-5 emphasizes that the development of a professional identity should involve an intentional exploration of the values and guiding principles considered foundational to successful legal practice. While client-centered relational skills, problem solving, and good judgment are included in the concept of a fiduciary mindset discussed above, our experience suggests that the fiduciary mindset concept can be too abstract for a significant proportion of stakeholder groups like students and legal employers. These groups need a clearer bridge to the actual capacities and skills empirical research shows are foundational for successful legal practice. Client-centered relational skills, problem solving, and good judgment provide this bridge.

A growing number of empirical studies asking clients and legal employers about the competencies needed for successful legal practice support the conclusion that the six traditional technical competencies that law schools emphasize and which are set forth in Table 2, are necessary but not sufficient to meet client and legal employer needs in changing markets (see Resources: Hamilton-Competencies).

 

Table 2: Traditional Technical Competencies That Law Schools Emphasize

1. knowledge of doctrinal law in the basic subject areas,

2. legal analysis,

3. legal research,

4. written and oral communication in the legal context,

5. legal judgment, and

6. knowledge of the law-of-lawyering responsibilities to clients and the legal system (see Resources: Competencies).


The additional competencies that the empirical studies indicate clients and legal employers need from lawyers in changing markets are listed in Table 3.

 

Table 3: Additional Competencies Empirical Studies Indicate That Clients and Legal Employers Need

1. superior client focus and responsiveness to the client,

2. exceptional understanding of the client’s context and business,

3. effective communication skills, including listening and knowing your audience,

4. client-centered creative problem-solving abilities and good professional judgment,

5. ownership over continuous professional development (taking initiative) of both the traditional technical competencies in Table 2, the client relationship competencies above, and the capacities and skills below,

6. teamwork and collaboration,

7. strong work ethic,

8. conscientiousness and attention to detail,

9. grit and resilience,

10. organization and management of legal work (project management), and

11. an entrepreneurial mindset to serve clients more effectively and efficiently in changing markets.


Interpretation 303-6 also specifically identifies cross-cultural competency as necessary for client-centered relationship skills, problem solving, and good judgment.



 

B. The Skill of Reflection Is Central to Each Student’s Professional Identity

Interpretation 303-5 observes that “because developing a professional identity requires reflection and growth over time, students should have frequent opportunities [for reflection and growth] during each year of law school and in a variety of courses and co-curricular and professional development activities.” Although the interpretation does not define “reflection,” a helpful definition can be synthesized from medical education and earlier legal education scholarship.

The skill of reflection is an ongoing cycle of careful examination of specific thoughts, actions, and experiences from a student’s own perspective and the perspective of others with a goal of informing and improving the student’s insight and practice for future experiences (see Resources: Hamilton-Professional Identity). A systematic review of the most cited medical education papers on reflection in the period 2008 to 2012 defined reflection as “the process of engaging the self in attentive, critical, exploratory, and iterative interactions with one’s thoughts and actions, and their underlying conceptual frame, with a view to changing them.” (See Resources: Nguyen et al.)

This conceptual model of reflection has two extrinsic elements and four core sub-competencies (see Resources: Fifth). The first extrinsic element is an experience that triggers a reflective thinking process. The second extrinsic element is the timing of the reflection. In the vast majority of definitions of reflection, the timing occurs after the experience, but these authors believe reflection should occur before, during, and after the experience (see Nguyen et al. at 1184).

The four core sub-competencies (or steps) of a reflective thinking process are: (1) to identify specific thoughts and actions the person is thinking about; (2) to think about the thoughts and actions attentively and critically, in an exploratory and iterative fashion; (3) to become aware of the conscious or unconscious conceptual framework(s) that underlie the person’s thoughts and actions; and (4) to have a purpose of changing the self in terms of the person’s conscious or unconscious conceptual framework (see Nguyen et al. at 1181–82. See Hamilton for a grading rubric applicable to reflection assignments). (We have added to our synthesized definition of reflection the qualification that examination should be undertaken from the student’s perspective and the perspective of others.)

 

C. How Often Does the Curriculum Need to Engage Each Student with Respect to the Development of a Professional Identity?

Interpretation 303-5 requires frequent opportunities to reflect on professional identity during each year of law school and in a variety of courses and co-curricular and professional development opportunities. Standard 303(c) also requires a law school to provide training and education to law students on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism at least at the start of the program of legal education and at least once more before graduation.

 

Neil W. Hamilton and Louis D. Bilionis are authors of Law Student Professional Development and Formation: Bridging Law School, Student, and Employer Goals (2022). Drawing on empirical studies and research on education in various disciplines, the book details a framework, guiding principles, and practical suggestions for bringing purposeful support of law student professional identity formation into the American law school.

Look for Part 2 of this article series in the June 2022 edition of NALP Bulletin+ focusing on action steps and the benefits for law students, law schools and the legal profession.

 

Resources

ABA: See American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Report to the House of Delegates 4 (adopted Feb. 14, 2022).

Adams: See email from Professor Kendall Kerew to Neil Hamilton summarizing a communication from William Adams to the deans (Feb. 25, 2022; on file with the authors).

Learning Outcomes: “Learning outcomes” are defined as “clear and concise statements of knowledge that the students are expected to acquire, skills students are expected to develop, and values that they are expected to understand and integrate into their professional lives. The outcomes should identify the desired knowledge, skills, and values that a school believes that its students should master.” American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, Managing Director’s Guidance Memo, Standards 301, 302, 314 and 315 (June 2015), at 4.

Carnegie: The first, second, and fourth goals are the most common elements of the formation of a professional identity in all five of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s studies of education for the clergy (2007), lawyers (2007), engineers (2009), nurses (2010), and physicians (2010) based on many dozens of site visits at schools in each profession. See Neil Hamilton, Fostering Professional Formation (Professionalism): Lessons from the Carnegie Foundation’s Five Studies of Educating Professionals, 45 Creighton L. Rev. 763, 765, 775 (2012). All five Carnegie studies emphasize that the most fundamental element of the formation of a professional identity is internalizing responsibility to the person being served (e.g., parishioner, client, patient). Four of the studies agree on two other foundational goals: (1) a commitment to growth toward excellence at all the competencies needed for the profession; and (2) good judgment/moral reasoning in the context of the interpersonal relationship with the person served. Id. at 775-76. An empirical study of lawyer professionalism award winners in Minnesota also found a common understanding among them that their professional formation and development included: (1) a deep responsibility to others, especially deep care for the client that builds trust; (2) ongoing reflection and career-long learning; and (3) counseling the client with candid and honest counsel and independent judgment. See Neil Hamilton & Verna Monson, Ethical Professional Transformation: Themes from Interviews About Professionalism with Exemplary Lawyers, 52 Santa Clara L. Rev. 921, 948-49, 957 (2012).

The third goal reflects recent major concerns of law schools and the profession. The Carnegie study of legal education was published in 2007. See William M. Sullivan, et al., Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (2007). In the years since the publication of Educating Lawyers, and particularly in the last several years, there has been much greater awareness that the well-being of law students and lawyers is profoundly important to the legal profession and to the clients that lawyers serve. Illuminating sources on that development include Jerome M. Organ, David B. Jaffe and Katherine M. Bender, Suffering in Silence: The Survey of Law Student Well-Being and the Reluctance of Law Students to Seek Help for Substance Use and Mental Health Concerns, 66 J. Legal Educ. 116, 116-56 (Autumn 2016) (discussing the 2014 Survey of Law Student Well Being), and National Task Force on Lawyer Well-Being, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change (2017).

Holmboe and Englander: See Eric Holmboe and Robert Englander, What Can the Legal Profession Learn from the Medical Profession about the Next Steps, 14 U. St. Thomas L.J. 345, 345-56 (2018); Neil Hamilton & Sarah Schaefer, What Legal Education Can Learn from Medical Education About Competency-Based Learning Outcomes Including Those Related to Professional Formation and Professionalism, 29 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 399, 399-438 (2016).

Sullivan: See, e.g., William M. Sullivan, Foreword to Teaching Medical Professionalism: Supporting the Development of a Professional Identity ix, xi, xv (Richard L. Cruess et al. eds., 2d ed. 2016).

Also see id. at ix; William Sullivan, Align Preparation with Practice, 85 N.Y. St. B.A. J. No. 7, Sept. 2013, at 41-43 (where Sullivan introduces the concept of fiduciary disposition).

Model Rules: See Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Rules 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7-1.13, and 4.4 (2022)

Cooke: See Molly Cooke et al., Educating Physicians: A Call for Reform of Medical School and Residency 41 (2010).

Artino: See Anthony Artino, Jr. et al., Self-regulated learning in healthcare profession education: theoretical perspectives and research methods, in Researching Medical Education 155, 157 (Jennifer Cleland & Steven J. Durning, eds.) (2015).

Cleary: See id. at p. 156-157; Timothy Cleary et. al., Self-regulated learning in medical education, in Oxford Textbook of Medical Education 466-67 (Kieran Walsh ed.) (2013). Clearly there is an overlap in the two concepts, and there is a need for cross-fertilization between the two literatures. Id. at 465, 470.

Krieger and Sheldon-Data: See Lawrence S. Krieger and Kennon M. Sheldon, What Makes Lawyers Happy? A Data-Driven Prescription to Redefine Professional Success, 83 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 554, 564, 582-85 (2015).

Krieger: See Lawrence Krieger, The Most Ethical of People, the Least Ethical of People: Proposing Self-Determination Theory to Measure Professional Character Formation, 8 U. St. Thomas L.J. 168, 171 -72 (2011). SDT also identifies four intrinsic values that mirror the three basic psychological needs and lead to behaviors that fulfill the three basic needs and thus promote well-being. The four intrinsic values are: (1) self-understanding and growth (the importance of learning and personal growth); (2) intimacy with others (the importance of trusting close relationships with others); (3) helping others (improving others’ lives, especially those in need); and (4) being in and building community (improving society).

Hamilton-Competencies: See Neil Hamilton, The Gap Between the Foundational Competencies Clients and Legal Employers Need and the Learning Outcomes Law Schools Are Adopting, 89 UMKC L. Rev. 559, 561-82 (2021).

Competencies: These are the competencies listed in 2021-2022 Standards and Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, Standards 302 (a)-(c), American Bar Association Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar.

Hamilton-Professional Identity: See Neil Hamilton, The Foundational Skill of Reflection in the Formation of a Professional Identity, 12 St. Mary’s J. Legal Malpractice & Ethics (forthcoming 2022).

Nguyen et al.: See Quoc D. Nguyen et al., What is Reflection? A Conceptual Analysis of Major Definitions and a Proposal for A Five-Component Model, 48 Med. Educ. 1176, 1182 (2014).

Fifth: See id. at 1182. Nguyen et al. include a fifth core sub-competency called “having a view on the change itself” which picks up the continuing process of how an envisioned change can be changed further with a continuing process of reflection. Id. To keep the model proposed here simpler, this fifth sub-competency is not included.

 

Neil W. Hamilton is the Thomas and Patricia Holloran Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota) School of Law. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including ROADMAP: The Law Student’s Guide to Preparing and Implementing a Successful Plan for Meaningful Employment (2d ed. ABA Books 2018), which received the American Bar Association’s Gambrell Award for excellence in professionalism.

 

Louis D. Bilionis is Dean Emeritus and Droege Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and a Fellow at the Holloran Center. An experienced administrator, teacher, and scholar, he has focused on strategies for leading change in legal education, with particular attention to improved support for the law student’s formation of professional identity.

 

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