David Grenardo – Holloran Center Professional Identity Implementation Blog
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Barbara Glesner FInes, David Grenardo, Felicia Hamilton, Jerome Organ, Kendall Kerew, Louis Bilionis, Neil Hamilton

Welcoming the new year with gratitude: Holloran Center Resolutions for 2024

By: Barbara Glesner Fines, Dean and Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law, UMKC School of Law

What better time to reflect on professional identity formation than the new year, when so many of us are making resolutions for growth and improvement.  Here are three of our resolutions for the Holloran Center’s continued formation:

  1. We resolve to be grateful.  We are grateful for the leadership of Tom Holloran, whose example of servant leadership inspires us. We are grateful for the work of scholars and teachers in other professions who have given us so many insights and inspiration. We are especially grateful to you, our colleagues engaged in this work of coaching, mentoring, and guiding our students in their transformation from student to lawyer.
  2. We resolve to listen.  This past year, we have learned so much from the questions and critiques posed by our colleagues.  What do we really mean by formation? How is it different from the knowledge and skills transfer we aim to teach and provide? How do we assess development?  How do or should concepts of professionalism and civility fit into professional identity? What about this idea of “identity”?  How does that singular-sounding noun reconcile with our diverse cultures and values as individuals and communities? How do we ensure that the work of formation is shared and equitably by our entire community? Our understanding of our work has evolved with each question and challenge.
  3. We resolve to share. Since 2013, over 400 scholars, teachers, and student services professionals from over 60 law schools have attended a Professional Identity Formation workshop or conference or symposium sponsored by the Holloran Center. We look forward to hosting at least three additional workshops in 2024: a conference for professional responsibility scholars and teachers in April, along with two summer workshops.  We will continue to support others leading in this effort. We are also working to develop our online community: revising our databases of materials and inventories, and growing our blog and listserv.  Let us know how we can help.

Happy New Year!

Neil, Jerry, David, Lou, Barb, Kendall, and Felicia

 

Barbara Glesner FInes, David Grenardo, Jerome Organ, Louis Bilionis, Neil Hamilton

Standard 303 and the Development of Student Professional Identity: A Framework for the Intentional Exploration of the Profession’s Core Values

 

By Felicia Hamilton, Holloran Center Coordinator

Holloran Center Directors Neil Hamilton, Jerry Organ, and David Grenardo, along with Holloran Center Fellows Barbara Glesner Fines and Louis Bilionis recently co-authored an article that supplies a framework for understanding the core values of the legal profession. The authors’ intention is to guide legal educators into a thoughtful exploration of the nature of these values, and to encourage law school faculty and staff to make intentional choices around how their programs highlight them. Using the metaphor of a tree, the authors address the core values of the “trunk” (a sense of responsibility to those whom the professional serves and the commitment to professional development) and the “branch” values as codified into the Model Rules.

Read more in the abstract for “Standard 303 and the Development of Student Professional Identity: A Framework for the Intentional Exploration of the Profession’s Core Values” below:

Legal educators, following the change in ABA accreditation Standard 303(b)(3)[1], must face directly the question “what are the core values of the legal profession?” This article offers a framework both to help faculty and staff clarify their thinking on what are the profession’s core values and to spotlight the choices law schools need to consider in purposeful fashion.

The framework offered here should also help allay two concerns that faculty, staff, and students may have about core values of the profession.  One concern is that all statements of values are subjective in the sense that they are expressions of individual subjective preferences, beliefs, and attitudes.[2]  A second concern is that statements of values tend to privilege the traditional, and hence fail to reflect the diversity of the profession and the experience and views of marginalized members of the profession – particularly with respect to the elimination of bias, discrimination, and racism.[3]

On the first concern, the article analyzes first the core values of all the service professions to point out two core values foundational to all of them. The article then analyzes the legal profession’s core values articulated in the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, adopted with some variation by all fifty states. The fifty-state adoption of the Model Rules indicates a strong consensus on the core values of the profession.  On the second concern, the values framework offered here makes clear that elimination of bias, discrimination, and racism is among the profession’s core values, and that the profession should, on an ongoing basis, seek feedback widely regarding its core values, particularly from marginalized groups, and reflect on the feedback.

Part II outlines the ABA accreditation Standard 303 changes that require each law school to help students develop a professional identity through the intentional exploration of the values of the profession. This means the faculty and staff need to discern the values of the profession they want the students to explore.  Part III analyzes what is a professional identity?  Part IV provides a framework to help legal educators clarify their thinking about the profession’s core values.  The framework features some widely shared fundamental values for all the service professions, and locates also values particular to the legal profession. Part V explores how the core values of the profession in part IV connect to “successful legal practice.”  Part VI discusses cautionary arguments that traditional values like those in the Model Rules can privilege some groups and fail to account for the experiences and viewpoints of marginalized groups.

[1] Standards & Rules of Procedure for Approval of Law Schools, Standard 303(b)(3) (Am. Bar Ass’n 2023), [hereinafter Accreditation Standards], https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/legal_education_and_admissions_to_the_bar/standards/2023-2024/23-24-standards-ch3.pdf.

[2] See, e.g., Joseph Singer, Normative Methods for Lawyers, 56 U.C.L.A. L. Rev. 899, 902-911 (2009).

[3] See discussion in Part VI of this article.

You can download the article from SSRN here.

Neil Hamilton is the Holloran Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law in Minnesota.

Jerome Organ is the Bakken Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law

David Grenardo is a Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

Barbara Glesner Fines is the Dean and Rubey M. Hulen Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

Louis Bilionis is the Dean Emeritus and Droege Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

David Grenardo, Felicia Hamilton

Debunking the Major Myths Surrounding Mandatory Civility for Lawyers Plus Five Mandatory Civility Rules That Will Work

By Felicia Hamilton, Holloran Center Coordinator

David Grenardo, Associate Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, recently won the prestigious Warren E. Burger award for his essay “Debunking the Major Myths Surrounding Mandatory Civility for Lawyers Plus Five Mandatory Civility Rules That Will Work.” This award honors research that contributes significantly to the field of professionalism, civility, ethics, and excellence.

Building on his previous scholarship on the importance of civility in the legal profession, Grenardo tackles common misconceptions that prevent widespread standardization and proposes five rules for holding lawyers accountable to practicing civility with colleagues, clients, and opposing counsel.

Read the abstract below:

Civility remains a problem in the legal profession. Teaching law students about civility is important, if not critical, but it is not enough. Entertaining CLEs on civility for lawyers make for a fun hour, but they also fall short. Calls for civility and calls to return to civility have become routine, yet they can ring hollow. Adding phrases about civility to the oaths lawyers take to practice sounds wonderful, but those oaths oftentimes lack accountability. Recognizing that our country is divided and toxic in the way we communicate with each other is accurate, but that similarly fails to solve the problem. And most of all, we are naïve to hope that some lawyers will make significant changes to their behavior in a profession riddled with systemic incivility just because others in the legal profession kindly ask them to do so. Systemic change requires significant changes to the system.

Part I of this Article provides an overview of civility in the legal profession. Part II describes mandatory civility in the legal profession. Part III raises the major myths of mandatory civility and responds to each of them. Part IV includes proposed mandatory civility rules, while Part V sets forth arguments against mandatory civility and responds to those arguments. This Article concludes that mandatory civility rules are necessary and practicable.

How many more calls to civility must we endure as civility continues to decline in society and the legal profession? How long will the legal profession continue to pay lip service to civility while the negative effects of incivility continue to plague the profession? Talking is not enough—leaders of the legal system need to act. State bars, state supreme courts, and, if necessary, state legislatures must take the step that four brave states already have—mandate civility.

Download the full article from SSRN here.

 

Felicia Hamilton is the Coordinator for the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

David Grenardo is a Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.

David Grenardo

A Review of Roadmap

James Leipold served as the executive director of NALP (National Association for Law Placement) for over 18 years. He now works as a senior advisor with the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). Leipold wrote a thorough review of Neil Hamilton’s Third Edition of the award-winning book, Roadmap: The Law Student’s Guide to Meaningful Employment, published by the ABA. Leipold’s detailed and insightful review can be found here.

David Grenardo

2023 Baylor Law Leadership Symposium, Power of Speech: Creating Environments in Which Free Speech and Civil Discourse Thrive

By: David A. Grenardo, Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, University of St. Thomas School of Law

On Thursday, September 28, 2023, Baylor Law School’s Leadership program, in conjunction with the AALS Leadership Section and Baylor Law Review, will host a symposium titled, “Power of Speech: Creating Environments in Which Free Speech Civil Discourse Thrive.” The symposium features national leaders in legal education and the legal profession, including the following individuals: Erwin Chemerinsky, the Dean and Jesse H. Choper Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Berkeley School of Law; Deborah Enix-Ross of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, the Immediate Past ABA President; and Mark Alexander, the Arthur J. Kania Dean and Professor of Law at Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law and President of the AALS.

The symposium will also showcase several national prominent leaders in professional identity formation, such as Leah Teague, Professor of Law and Director of the Leadership Development Program at Baylor Law School, Timothy W. Floyd, the Tommy Malone Distinguished Chair in Trial Advocacy and Director of Experiential Education at Mercer University School of Law, and Louis D. Bilionis, Dean Emeritus and Droege Professor of Law at Cincinnati College of Law, who is also a Holloran Center Fellow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The symposium, which will take place from 12:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time, is completely virtual. The full schedule of the symposium and speaker bios can be found here, and this registration link will allow you to sign up for this timely and enlightening symposium. We hope you can find time to attend some or all of this exciting event.

David Grenardo

Kill 1L: A Realistic Look at Legal Education Reform

By: David A. Grenardo, Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, University of St. Thomas School of Law

Prentiss Cox, a Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School, previously published Law in Practice, a casebook to teach lawyering skills to first and second-year law students. His latest article, Kill 1L, proposes a bold, yet practical approach to reforming the 1L curriculum and experience to help develop law students into lawyers.

Here is the abstract of Professor Cox’s article:

Law school education has been extensively studied for decades, but changes have been modest. This Article makes the case that fundamental law school reform will not occur until we abolish the central pillar on which it rests—the current conception of the first year of law school, the “1L” experience. Many studies of law school curricula and pedagogy are sharply critical of the education offered, but they pull a punch when it comes to 1L. This Article compares recent data on 1L curricula at almost every U. S. law school with ABA-required law school statements of learning outcomes. The comparison reveals two contrasts: the gap between what is promised students for their legal education and what 1L delivers; and the gap between what is promised students and the actual use of law by attorneys, judges and even law professors in the modern world. The Article proposes a new 1L curriculum that would engage students in the law used by courts and policymakers while decreasing the demands placed on law students by the repetitive, inefficient legacy 1L curriculum.

A link to the article can be found here.

Should you have any questions or comments about the article, please feel free to contact Professor Cox at coxxx211@umn.edu.

 

David Grenardo

Integrating Artificial Intelligence Tools into the Formation of Professional Identity

By: David A. Grenardo, Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, University of St. Thomas School of Law

The Holloran Center and the University of St. Thomas Law Journal brought together for the first time 1L and Professional Responsibility casebook authors to discuss ways to implement professional identity formation into the 1L curriculum and Professional Responsibility at the University of St. Thomas Law Journal’s spring 2023 symposium. One of the major reasons for this seminal gathering was to share ideas about professional identity formation amongst law schools from all across the country. Another reason was to generate excellent scholarship that could guide law schools as schools must now comply with the new ABA Standard 303 that requires law schools to provide substantial opportunities for law students to develop their professional identities.

Colleen Medill, the Robert & Joanne Berkshire Family Professor of Law and Director of Undergraduate Academic Programs at the Nebraska College of Law, delivered an amazing presentation at the symposium titled “Writing a Demand Letter: Litigator or Mediator” on a panel that focused on putting students in the role of lawyers, which is one of the ways law students move from law student to lawyer. She also authored an excellent, timely, and innovative article for the symposium issue, Integrating Artificial Intelligence Tools into the Formation of Professional Identity.

Here is the abstract of Professor Medill’s article:

My claim in this Article is that a lawyer’s personal use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the practice of law is now an essential component of a lawyer’s professional identity that must be intentionally developed as a law student before entering the practice of law. After demonstrating the strong connection between the use of AI tools in legal practice, the requirement of lawyer competence, and the formation of professional identity, the Article proposes four “best practices” principles for integrating AI tools with traditional lawyering skills exercises to assist students in the formation of professional identity. The Article concludes with an example that can be used in the first-year Property course.

A link to the article can be found here.

Should you have any questions or comments about the article, please feel free to contact Professor Medill at cmedill2@unl.edu.

David Grenardo

An Unexpected Synergy: How Integrating Professional Identity Formation Exercises in a Civil Procedure Course Not Only Help Students Form a Professional Identity but Also Enhance Their Understanding of Civil Procedure

By: David A. Grenardo, Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, University of St. Thomas School of Law

Professor Benjamin V. Madison III, Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Professional Formation at Regent University School of Law, authored a pretrial practice casebook, Civil Procedure for All States: A Context and Practice Casebook, which was one of the first casebooks that explicitly and intentionally incorporated professional identity formation as recommended by the Carnegie Institute study Educating Lawyers (2007).  Madison presented at the University of St. Thomas Law Journal’s spring 2023 symposium, which brought together 1L and Professional Responsibility casebook authors to discuss how they infuse professional identity formation into the required curriculum.  Madison’s latest article, An Unexpected Synergy: How Integrating Professional Identity Formation Exercises in a Civil Procedure Course Not Only Help Students Form a Professional Identity but Also Enhance Their Understanding of Civil Procedure, will be part of that symposium’s issue.

Here is the abstract of the article:

This article demonstrates that integrating professional identity formation exercises in a required course accomplishes multiple goals.  The Carnegie report stated, “[l]egal analysis alone is only a partial foundation for developing professional competence and identity.”  The report was clear that only the formation of values and the ability to exercise moral judgment would allow students to practice as true professionals.  Both first-year and advanced civil procedure courses feature professional identity formation exercises.  They present dilemmas litigators face, particularly ones that the Model Rules of Professional Conduct do not answer.

The article describes how the effectiveness of the exercises improved depending on how the professor assigned them.  When students read the exercises and discussed them in class, along with cases and other reading, students showed less engagement in the complexity of moral and ethical questions.  Conversely, when students wrote reflection papers on the exercises due before the class discussion, they displayed greater discernment than when students did not write reflections.  After writing about the exercise, more students recognized that reflective lawyers balance multiple interests and the lawyer’s values in resolving an ethical/moral challenge.  The examples explored in the article, as representative of the type of exercises, include various issues that arise in handling a civil suit.  The sample exercises include a choice-of-forum decision, a client’s request to serve a defendant in a specific manner, and two discovery scenarios.  The first discovery scenario depicts a lawyer deciding whether to set a trial and other deadlines later than necessary and how that affects the client, not to mention the lawyer’s financial gain if on a billable hour engagement.  The second discovery example demonstrates efforts to use excessive production of documents to increase the chance that the discovering party misses key documents.

The benefits of the exercises were two-fold.  As a routine, graded part of the course, students gained an appreciation for moral and ethical judgments not answered by the Model Rules.  The courses’ learning objectives state that by engaging in the exercises, students would develop a professional identity that includes values and a moral compass that will answer questions not addressed by the Model Rules.  Therefore, students cultivate values, a moral compass, and the ability to resolve dilemmas they will likely face in practice.  An additional benefit was the improved grasp of the rules and doctrines connected to the scenarios.  Although intended to promote professional identity development, the exercises also reinforced knowledge of the rules and doctrines that formed the context for the exercises.  Hence, students learned these rules and doctrines better than if the exercise were left out.

A link to the article can be found here.

Should you have any questions or comments about the article, please feel free to contact Professor Madison at benjmad@regent.edu.

David Grenardo

Breaking Down Siloes and Building Up Students: The Transformational Possibilities of Professional Identity Formation

By: David A. Grenardo, Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, University of St. Thomas School of Law

Three national leaders in professional identity formation—Lindsey P. Gustafson, Aric K. Short, and Robin Thorner—came together to author an exceptional article focused on professional identity formation. Their article, Breaking Down Siloes and Building Up Students: The Transformational Possibilities of Professional Identity Formation, will be part of the University of St. Thomas Law Journal’s spring 2023 symposium issue that will explore pedagogies relating to professional identity formation.

Here is the abstract of the article:

Under the ABA’s sequenced approach to implementation of Standard 303(b)(3), schools should now have developed plans for providing opportunities for professional identity formation and should be implementing them. These plans must provide students with an “intentional exploration of the values, guiding principles, and well-being practices considered foundational to successful legal practice.” In addition, these plans should provide for frequent opportunities for development, “during each year of law school and in a variety of courses and co-curricular and professional development activities.”

Because Standard 303(b)(3) is necessarily tied to the unique character, existing structures, and available resources of a law school, each school’s plan will be different. That has been our experience as we have worked as professional identity formation leaders in different roles with varying perspectives: Lindsey Gustafson at the William H. Bowen School of Law, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, is a current Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and a skills and doctrinal professor; Aric Short at the Texas A&M School of Law is a former Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, a doctrinal professor, and currently serves as the Director of the Professionalism and Leadership Program; and Robin Thorner at St. Mary’s University School of Law is an Assistant Dean for Career Strategy, a teaching adjunct, and the current Director of Professional Identity Formation.

In this essay, we hope to emphasize that professional identity formation efforts can occur all across the law school’s operations, from administrative offices to classrooms to voluntary student activities. We also provide specific examples of how schools can be more intentional and explicit as they weave together multiple professional identity formation opportunities for their students. This process takes time and attention, but it creates a powerful whole-building approach to identity formation that not only complies with 303(b)(3), but also best positions our students for a successful, fulfilling, and impactful career in law.

A link to the article can be found here.

Should you have any questions or comments about the article, please feel free to contact any or all of the authors at lpgustafson@ualr.edu, ashort@law.tamu.edu, and rthorner@stmarytx.edu.

 

David Grenardo

Professional Responsibility and Professional Identity Formation in a Community of Practice with Alumni

By: David A. Grenardo, Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, University of St. Thomas School of Law

Every time a bell rings, an angel gets its wings…and Neil Hamilton finishes another article. Neil Hamilton, the Holloran Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, has completed a new professional identity formation article. Hamilton wrote his latest article for the University of St. Thomas Law Journal’s spring 2023 symposium on professional identity formation. Hamilton’s article explores a new approach to the required Professional Responsibility course that provides reasonable coverage of the law of lawyering, legal analysis, and compliance, but also helps each student understand and participate in a community of practice focused on all the discretionary calls of lawyering in the area of the student’s ultimate practice interest. The student sees that legal ethics knowledge and capacities are not just doctrinal knowledge and legal analysis but are also social and situated in a community of practice. The student also sees that many alumni of the law school are successful in the practice of law while living into the values of the law school and the profession, not just compliance with the minimum floor of the law of lawyering. The student will also understand that in any practice area, the experienced lawyers know who can be trusted and who are the jerks. It will be the student’s and new lawyer’s choice which path to take.

Part II(A) of the article first outlines that the ABA Model Rules of Professional Responsibility (adopted by all 50 states with some variation) codify some values of the profession (like competence, diligence, confidentiality, and loyalty) into the law of lawyering with which licensed lawyers must comply. Part II(A) also explains that many of the Rules give discretion to practicing lawyers with respect to choices about conduct above the floor of the Rules. Part II(B) then analyzes the core values in the mission and learning outcomes of some law schools, and in the Preamble to the Model Rules, that help guide each lawyer’s discretionary decision-making. Part III analyzes how communities of practice influence lawyers in making the discretionary calls of lawyering in a way consistent with the profession’s core values. Part IV explores empirical evidence on whether practicing lawyers think their legal education was an effective community of practice fostering their understanding of these core values in making the discretionary calls of lawyering. Part V discusses Hamilton’s own Professional Responsibility course that creates communities of practice with students and alumni to help students understand the importance of the law school’s and the profession’s core values in making the discretionary calls of lawyering.

A link to Hamilton’s article can be found here.

David Grenardo is a Professor of Law and Associate Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law.