More Conversations on Professional Identity

For a number of years I’ve taught a course on Access to Justice that satisfied the externship classroom component requirement. Because we are restructuring our externship program, when I taught the class spring quarter the students who were taking the class only to satisfy the requirement were moved to our new externship course.

Not surprisingly, the class drew a number of students who are planning public interest careers. But it also drew others who have made the decision to work at a firm, but want to be engaged in pro bono public service work. Many of the students were especially drawn to the portions of the course in which we talked about the law school experience and the way it shapes students career aspirations.

As I noted in my post on July 10 I’ve been struck by how hungry many our students seem to be for such conversations. Hungry for Carnegie’s “apprenticeship of professional formation,”  I think.  Both ideas and action on how to weave these issues into the curriculum still seem woefully undeveloped.

Note: For the last several iterations of the course, I’ve used parts of Mahoney, Calmore, and Wildman, Social Justice: Professional Communities and Law, including Chapter 4 on Personal Identity, Role, and Values: Becoming a Lawyer, Staying Yourself. I highly recommend it.

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