April 2016 CEFLER Quarterly eNewsletter

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Director's Greeting

What is Professional Identity?

Professional identity challenges law students and lawyers to internalize principles and values such that their professional conduct flows naturally from their individual moral compass.

See the following excerpt from the The Emperor Has No Clothes, But Does Anyone Really Care? How Law Schools are Failing to Develop Students' Professional Identity and Practical Judgment, pages 344-45:
The concept referred to as "professional identity" needs to be clarified before one can appreciate its significance to a lawyer's development and its connection to the ancient concept of phronesis, or practical wisdom. Scholars have already had difficulty agreeing on a definition of "professionalism." It should be no surprise, then, that "professional identity" has required clarification. The phrase is not clearly defined even within the seminal reports introducing the concept. (Download the article here.)
The Center for Ethical Formation & Legal Education Reform coordinates the programs and resources Regent Law has committed to developing students' professional identity. Read more » 

For additional updates on all the work CEFLER is doing, please visit our social networks and website. And be sure to let us know what you think.

L. O. Natt Gantt II
CEFLER Director

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Center Director Natt Gantt Quoted in The Virginian-Pilot
The Virginian-Pilot recently interviewed Professor L.O. Natt Gantt II, Director of CEFLER, regarding a Facebook post by Portsmouth (VA) Councilman Bill Moody.

Portsmouth City Council fined Councilman Moody for the Facebook post on the basis that the post violated his obligation to protect attorney-client communications on behalf of the city. Moody stated that he plans to appeal the fine in court and that he has filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union.  Read more » 

Teaching Knowledge, Skills, and Values of Professional Identity Formation

CEFLER founders, Natt Gantt and Regent Law Associate Dean Ben Madison, were cited by Professor Paul L. Caron in his Weekly Legal Education Roundup on TaxProfBlog for their piece titled, "Teaching Knowledge, Skills, and Values of Professional Identity Formation."

Regent Law Dean and CELFER Director Present at Pepperdine Conference

CEFLER Director Natt Gantt and Regent Law Associate Dean Lynne Marie Kohm presented "Teaching Law Students to Love Justice" at Pepperdine Law's annual conference titled "Doing Justice Without Doing Harm"

After discussing what research has shown about the attributes of millenial law students, Gantt and Kohm identified and examined particular methods legal educators can employ, both in the classroom and programmatically, to foster students' appreciation for lawyers' special responsibility to promote justice.


Professionalism and Professional Identity

On January 27, 2016, Center Director Natt Gantt and Regent Law Associate Dean Ben Madison, founders of CEFLER, had the opportunity to speak to students on the topic of professionalism and professional identity.  The talk was hosted by the Washington chapter of Phi Alpha Delta (PAD), the largest co-ed professional law fraternity in the United States.    Read more » 

Making Ethical Decisions in Challenging Times

On Tuesday, March 1, 2016, CEFLER hosted Admiral Vern Clark (USN, Ret.), former Chief of Naval Operations. Admiral Clark has an exceptionally decorated 37 year stint, having commanded three ships, two destroyer squadrons, the Atlantic Fleet's Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center, a Carrier Battle Group, the Second Fleet, NATO's Striking Fleet, and the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. Clark forged an effort to make the Navy more competitive and to posture the way for the challenges of the post 911 world and had much wisdom to share about making ethical decisions in challenging times.

Center Founders Natt Gantt and Ben Madison Speak at NPBA Bench/Bar Conference

On Tuesday, March 22, Center founders L.O. Natt Gantt II and Ben Madison, along with William and Mary Law School Dean Davison Douglas, spoke at the Norfolk & Portsmouth Bar Association (NPBA) Bench/Bar Conference on The Future of Legal Practice.

The NPBA Bench Bar committee plans and executes the annual Bench Bar conference, where local lawyers and judges can obtain MCLE credit and valuable information to improve their practice. Approximately 150 lawyers and judges attended the conference, which is now in its 18th year.
Mentee Testimony: Carter Budwell
My name is Carter Budwell. I am a third year law student at Regent University School of Law, and plan on taking the Virginia bar exam this summer.

Unlike many of my peers who joined the mentor/mentee program as first year law students, I did not join until the fall of my third year. It was just something I did not think that much about. But I decided that having a connection with a practicing attorney can only help me, and cannot hurt me.

Beyond the Rule
How Can You Effectively Teach Professional Identity?If one chooses to make teaching professional identity a goal of one’s course, then the following are suggestions for effectively meeting this goal:
  1. Include professional identity formation as a course goal in the syllabus.
  2. Within major course topics, include professional identity hypotheticals that challenge students to make a judgment involving values and professionalism. Encourage discussion of...

Questions of Professional Identity
by Professor Jeffrey A. Brauch
One of my great joys as a law professor is following the progress of some of my former students as they begin law practice and mature as lawyers. I catch up with them at formal alumni events, but even more through phone conversations, social media, or informal chats in person. We talk about life, family, and practice. Alumni share joys and frustrations. Sometimes they seek advice.

We almost never discuss substantive legal questions. No one ever wants a refresher on removing cases from state to federal court.


Resource Highlight: A Book on Professional Identity by Scott Fruehwald

What I Learned from Writing My Book on Professional Identityby Scott Fruehwald

The editors of this blog have asked me to write about the lessons I learned while writing my book, Developing Your Professional Identity: Creating Your Inner Lawyer(2015).

First, a text on developing professional identity must begin by having students examine who they are today and how they got there. A person must understand who she is before she can develop a professional identity...


Other Blog Posts

CEFLER Calendar

42nd ABA National Conference on Professional Responsibility
This conference will bring together legal scholars, jurists and specialists in the professional responsibility field for two days of intensive seminars covering a wide range of issues.

Conference topics will address recent trends and developments in legal ethics, professional discipline for lawyers, professionalism and practice issues.

Philadelphia, PA

June 1-3, 2016

View other events on the CELFER calendar online »
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