Mandatory 1L Courses – Holloran Center Professional Identity Implementation Blog
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Mandatory 1L Courses


A Student’s Reflection on Professional Identity Formation

By: Jordan Bracewell, Mercer Law School

When I entered law school, my goal was to learn as much as I could so that I would make a great attorney. What I had in mind was learning the sort of knowledge gained from a textbook or by perfecting an oral argument, but being an attorney requires more. Law school has given me the tools to cultivate the intentional professional identity necessary to become a great attorney.

Mercer Law encouraged me to reflect on and form my professional identity starting 1L year with a required three-hour course, The Legal Profession. While cultivating a professional identity can include a constellation of virtues, Mercer emphasizes six necessary professional virtues: competence, fidelity to the client, fidelity to the law, public spiritedness, civility, and practical wisdom. The Legal Profession helps first-year law students learn the six virtues through various reading assignments, including The Formation of Professional Identity and Bryan Stephenson’s Just Mercy, listening to presentations on the virtues, participating in group discussions and exercises, and meeting practicing attorneys and judges.

Class exercises were particularly beneficial because they gave me an opportunity to be placed in hypothetical scenarios and see the importance of each virtue while recognizing the virtues can conflict with one another (such as fidelity to the client verses fidelity to the law). The hypotheticals were a chance to reflect on difficult situations within the profession and the values that I would use to help me respond. The discussions take place in small groups, and my classmates always had valuable insight that helped me develop the capacity to imagine alternatives. After we read and had discussion, the course also required weekly reflections. These reflections were an opportunity to slow down and be intentional in what I had learned during the week and throughout the course.

Additionally, the opportunity to hear from and interview attorneys and judges on their experiences broadened my understanding of the challenges and rewards of the legal profession. I appreciated how honest each person was in sharing with our class their insecurities and struggles, whether related to mental health, finances, family, job-searching, or being a woman or minority in the profession. I also appreciated how uplifting and encouraging each of our guests were. With no family or close friends who are attorneys, it was a valued chance for me to learn more about the different legal fields, get advice, and create connections. Several people who spoke to my 1L class have since been involved in my professional growth.

Now as a 3L approaching graduation, I am grateful that Mercer Law requires this class for all its students, and I enjoy telling others about what I have learned from Mercer. I have carried these professional virtues through other classes, interactions with students, leadership in student and community organizations, a judicial externship, and summer clerkships. Like many called to the legal profession, it has always been important to me to serve my community and to uplift others. This course was unique training in that it offered a new framework of values, problems, and guidance for upholding virtues while competently navigating the legal field. I hope the professional identity courses offered at law schools are creating a generation of future lawyers who are confident in themselves, know they can ask for help, and display the values we learned.

To me, professional identity means being intrinsically motivated to provide the best service to my future clients and to the legal profession. It is not possible to be an exceptional attorney without adhering to the virtues taught by Mercer, which should shape every professional interaction. I am thankful for professors like Patrick Longan, Daisy Floyd, and Timothy Floyd for the work they do to cultivate and instill these virtues in future attorneys through a safe environment to learn and grow. I am also grateful for the attorneys and judges who help law students and encourage new attorneys in their formation of professional identity. I look forward to continuing to develop my professional identity and to entering a field that has recognized the importance of teaching the virtues of competence, fidelity to the client, fidelity to the law, public spiritedness, civility, and practical wisdom from the very beginning of a legal career.

Jordan Bracewell Headshot

Jordan Bracewell is a 3L at Mercer University School of Law. During her time in law school, Jordan has served as Articles Editor for Mercer Law Review, Student Bar Association’s Honor Court Chief Justice, Vice President of Mercer Law Joshua’s Wish (a local nonprofit), judicial extern to Chief Judge Marc T. Treadwell of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, and as Mercer Law’s student representative for the State Bar of Georgia Committee on Professionalism.

Studying for an exam
Barbara Glesner FInes

Final Exams and Professional Identity Formation

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

As final exam season nears, we who teach doctrinal classes are turning our efforts toward constructing final exams that will fairly assess our students’ mastery of the learning outcomes we have set for our class. What conclusions might we draw about the final exam experience as an opportunity for students to experience being a lawyer or to reflect on what that identity means?

We might conclude that some traditional final exam approaches are not well suited as intentional formation experiences.  Multiple-choice, standardized questions are unlikely to provide an opportunity to develop one’s conception of the role of attorney.  While these exam question approaches can be helpful for assessing knowledge and, to some degree, analytical skill, they are an experience that is entirely academic.  Traditional essay questions, even when framed as “you are the attorney for…”  or asking students to “advise your client,” are equally unlikely to help students to form a professional identity.  When delivered in the artificial environment of a timed, in-class final exam, students are unlikely to see these essay exams as experiences in which they are acting in an authentic lawyering role.

Nevertheless, traditional exam approaches are not irrelevant to professional formation.  All communicate the need for professionals to prepare diligently, perform well under pressure, and communicate clearly: all part of the professional value of striving for excellence.  However, they also may communicate negative habits and mindsets.

If the final exam is the only opportunity for graded credit that students receive during a semester, students are taught that day-to-day work has little value compared to the ability to deliver on deadline.  Many of our students have intellectual abilities that allowed them to earn high grades during their undergraduate education by simply “cramming” for final exams rather than requiring steady, daily practice. Unfortunately, many attempt and even succeed in that same approach to their work in law school.  It is little wonder, then, that we see the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct needing to comment that, “Perhaps no professional shortcoming is more widely resented than procrastination.”[1]  One way, then, to create opportunities for students to internalize a strong commitment to sustained, quality work is to make sure that the final exam is not the only place in which they are given feedback or earn reward.

Probably the most powerful formation aspect of final exams is what comes after they are over: grades.  Grades can impact professional formation in many negative ways.  Law students, already overly reliant on external measures of self-worth, can be pushed even further in that direction.  Students can take grades as indicia of career opportunities and academic expectations.  For those at the bottom of the curve, grades can create a sense of hopelessness that undermines continual improvement.  Students at the top of the statistical grade curve are not unaffected either.  Their top-percentage grades can lead them to feel that they are doing something wrong if they do not enter the large firm tournament.

There is a tension here of course.  The more we use “grades” to motivate student performance, the more we emphasize an external locus of control.  We can find ways to provide frequent feedback and give students credit for regular practice without sending a message that student’s performance is tied to their competitive grade ranking with their peers. For example, regular practice quizzes or exams (i.e., evaluated but ungraded) can give students a way to assess their progress and earn the intrinsic satisfaction of producing a quality product.

As one of the most powerful experiences in law school, final exams could become transformative opportunities for students to reflect on their own attitudes toward professional work and value. For law schools to help make that happen, we must build in more opportunities to communicate with students about the meaning of exams and grades. We could engage students to reflect on the exam experience after it is over, develop the habit of reflection on performance for continual improvement, and right-size the impact of grades on their own self-evaluation. We do not generally structure our academic calendars to incorporate such an experience. That doesn’t mean that such an experience could not be built into our academic programs as part of an overall professional identity formation program.

Do any schools have such a program? Please share your experiences on the Holloran Center PIF listserv or with me at


[1] ABA Model Rule 1.3, Comment 3.

Janet Stearns

Getting it Done, and On Time

By: Janet Stearns, Dean of Students, University of Miami School of Law

Deadlines matter
Regardless of our practice area, job setting or employer, we are called upon to complete projects on deadlines set by clients, courts, and bosses. Our ability to manage competing projects and complete tasks on time is a fundamental professional skill.

In September, Nikki Beach, a renowned Miami Beach day spa, lost the right to remain on the property when their lawyers failed to submit a timely proposal to the city. According to the city attorney:

“…[Y]ou did not submit your proposal in Periscope by the deadline, as required by the RFP, and we cannot accept late submittals. Thank you and have a wonderful weekend.”[1]

Habeas petitions in death penalty cases have also found their way to the U.S. Supreme Court over the issue of missed filing deadlines.[2]

Law School & Deadlines
Deadlines produce anxiety and stress among our students. These situations present us with the opportunity to teach about the importance of deadlines, and the ways that we can respond and plan for them. For example, in the past week, our 1L Legal Communications and Writing Course had a memorandum due Monday night at 8 p.m. Meeting this benchmark demonstrated the ability of our students to work under pressure and complete a task on deadline. Some students completed the assignment well in advance over the weekend, others coming in just under the wire. Yet others were still reaching out after the deadline due to various technical and personal issues, asking for extensions and permission to submit late. Our student affairs team, working hand in hand with the Legal Communications and Writing faculty, needed to collaborate on our policies to determine whether to accept late submissions. We have also reflected hard on the lessons that we are teaching our students in these moments that they are confronting the challenges of meeting professional deadlines. At present, the grading deadlines are enforced, with significant penalties for late submissions.

We have the opportunity to teach about the importance of deadlines in other settings, too. Clinics and externships clearly give students some “real world” perspective on meeting deadlines. We also find that students engage with the University over various registration, financial payment, commencement application, and other administrative deadlines, and we do our best to send consistent messages about these activities. Extracurricular activities including Moot Court and Law Review involve submission deadlines, and we have historically construed these very strictly, along the way teaching lessons to our students about the value and necessity of completing tasks on time.

In some situations, we observe students who consistently face challenges in managing their time and meeting deadlines. We continue to explore options for additional training and coaching on executive functioning skills and time management for these students. In my opinion, barring an extraordinary medical or personal family situation, we should not be accommodating or extending these deadlines. We must not only continue to articulate the essential professional skill of learning to meet these deadlines, which students will confront in the “real world,” but we must also align our teaching and administrative practices with this reality.

Character & Fitness Considerations
The Florida Bar character and fitness questionnaire asks us to certify a number of issues, including the following:

Is the applicant thorough in fulfilling obligations?

Does the applicant meet deadlines?

For many years, our focus has been on conduct issues such as academic integrity and candor. Recently, however, we have found the need to disclose when students have chronic issues with fulfilling obligations and meeting deadlines. This semester, I have sent two letters to the Florida Bar relating to students in which, after multiple efforts at outreach from me and professors, we still saw a significant lack of responsiveness and attention to obligations in clinics, law review, and other law school obligations.

Following a brief survey,[3] we identified the following states that also asked character and fitness questions relating to these issues:

  • Maine Board of Bar Examiners Law School Certification (linked here) asks law schools to certify the following statement:
    • “I certify that I am not aware of and my review of the record has not revealed any incident in which the applicant failed to meet a material obligation.”
  • Mississippi Certificate of Dean of Law School (linked here) asks:
    • “Is the applicant timely and thorough in fulfilling obligations?”
  • Wyoming Bar Dean’s Certificate (linked here) asks:
    • “While engaging in law school activities including, without limitation, clinical courses and student bar association activities, did the applicant breach any professional or fiduciary obligation or any duty or trust?”

I would invite all members of our Professional Identity community to consider how and where we have the opportunity to message and teach the essential professional skills around deadlines and obligations. Please feel free to reach out to me at if you have any questions or comments.

[1] Aaron Liebowitz, City rejects Nikki Beach bid to remain in South Beach due to missed proposal deadline, Miami Herald, September 02, 2023.


[3] I am deeply grateful to Madeline Raine, Assistant Director of Student Life, for her survey of state character and fitness questions. She stands on the front lines of teaching students lessons about professional identity as they relate to the character and fitness process in Florida.

Greg Miarecki

Do These PIF Courses Really Matter?

By: Greg Miarecki, Executive Assistant Dean for Career Planning and Professional Development, Director of the University of Illinois College of Law Leadership Project, University of Illinois College of Law

Each spring semester, I teach our professional identity formation class, known as Fundamentals of Legal Practice.  A good number of our students speak positively about the class.  But each year, there are always a series of comments in the course evaluations along the lines of, “Why do I have to take this?  This is a waste of time.  I’d rather spend more time learning about constitutional law or contracts.”  For years, I was pretty disappointed in this kind of response (even if it was a minority view).  Then, several years into my PIF journey, I was at a Holloran Center retreat and learned that many of you who teach these classes get the same response.  That support allowed me to take these kinds of comments with a grain of salt, continually reminding myself that my 25 years in the legal profession equipped me with skills and insights that brand new law students simply don’t have.

And, over the years, I get some support from unexpected sources.  Last week, I was meeting with a Chicago firm – a senior partner and a junior associate. The junior associate graduated from our law school and took Fundamentals.  At the outset of the meeting, the partner talked about what he wanted in junior lawyers – he needed responsiveness, focus on client service, someone who could build relationships, and be a leader – all things we talk about in Fundamentals.  I chuckled a bit, turned to the junior associate and asked her if she’d ever taken a class focusing on those kinds of things.  She looked at me quizzically for a moment, and then said, “Oh, that nonsense we listened to in 1L year” – clearly referring to our Fundamentals class.

The partner, intrigued, asked me to explain.  I told him about what we taught in the class, and he enthusiastically responded that he loved the idea of the class.  We both looked at the junior associate, who looked a bit confused and then sheepishly admitted, “I actually wish I had paid more attention to some of those sessions.”

Some of our students will “get it” right away.  Some will eventually get it, perhaps years into the future.  And some might never get it.  If you ever need reinforcement and support for your PIF initiatives, just talk to alumni and employers – many of them appreciate what you’re doing!

If you would like to share your PIF successes or commiserate, then please connect with me on LinkedIn or email me at

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

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


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,, and


Neil Hamilton


By: Neil Hamilton, Holloran Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions, University of St. Thomas School of Law

The learning outcome for the ROADMAP is that each student takes ownership (self-direction) over the student’s professional development toward the student’s goals of bar passage and meaningful post-graduation employment.  Students at later stages of self-direction demonstrate higher academic performance and planning and implementation skills that increase bar passage and post-graduation employment outcomes. The ROADMAP is empowering each student to perform at the student’s highest capacity. The ROADMAP is also meeting ABA Standard 303(b) and (c) requirements regarding the development of each student’s professional identity.

This third edition of the ROADMAP is a complete revision of the second edition.  Since the first edition was published in 2015, and the second edition in 2018, the Holloran Center and I have continued to learn how more effectively to go where the students are developmentally to help them achieve their goals (and the Law School’s goals) of bar passage and meaningful post-graduation employment.

The entire book is now 50 pages at a price of $19.95 (ABA’s website indicates ordered books will ship on August 15 at the earliest).  In this edition, the students read 21 pages and then do the template plan which is 5 pages.  The reading and the template plan focus on using the student’s time inside and outside of the building to gain experiences that will achieve three goals:

  1. Thoughtfully discern the student’s passion, motivating interests, and strengths that best fit with a geographic community of practice, a practice area and type of client, and type of employer;
  2. Develop the student’s strengths to the next level; and
  3. Demonstrate evidence of the student’s strengths that employers value.

The book then has a chapter on building a tent of professional relationships that helps each student achieve these three goals plus a professional relationship tent-building template plan.  This chapter also includes cross-cultural skills addressing ABA Standard 303(c).

A number of law schools already use the ROADMAP, and the hope is that other law schools will discover its incredible value in helping law students with their professional identity formation.  To discover what the ROADMAP can do for your law students, you can find the book 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.

Dawn Figueiras

One Year Later: An Update on One Law School’s Faculty-Approved Implementation Plan

By: Dawn Figueiras, Assistant Professor of Law, Associate General Counsel, Chair of the Curriculum Committee, Appalachian School of Law

A year ago, the Curriculum Committee of Appalachian School of Law (ASL) was diligently creating an Implementation Plan for complying with the ABA’s revised Standards 303(b) and (c).  After adoption by ASL’s Faculty on August 16, 2022, the Plan was published in the first post of the Holloran Center Professional Identity Implementation Blog.  One year later, we report on our progress.

Our Implementation Plan, to be deployed in academic year 2023-2024, included retention of several existing aspects of ASL’s curriculum, including administration of the Professionalism Oath to incoming students during orientation and participation in an Externship placement during the summer following 1L year with journaling to document experiences and self-reflections.  Additions to ASL’s program included a new “Professionalism, Leadership, and Transition to Practice” (PLT) program designed, respectively, for 1L, 2L, and 3L students. Programs already scheduled for the upcoming Fall semester include a two-day visit by Virginia State Bar President Chidi James and a joint visit by executives of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys who will conduct talks with 1Ls about professionalism and with 2Ls about leadership.

The Implementation Plan included re-working ASL’s 1L “Introduction to Community Service” course into “Building a Professional Identity,” which would focus on professional identity development, well-being, and incorporating community service/pro bono service into a law career.  This new course will be included as a required 1L course beginning Fall semester, 2023.

One aspect of ASL’s Plan proved more difficult to implement.  A visit to a federal court during/near orientation hasn’t been accomplished yet.  But even though ASL couldn’t bring the students to a court, we brought a court to the students! In April 2023, ASL hosted a panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit for oral arguments, comprised of then-Chief Judge Roger Gregory, Judge Albert Diaz (now Chief Judge), and Judge Stephanie Thacker.[1]  ASL students watched attorneys argue two civil cases and one criminal case before the panel, and had several opportunities for interaction with the judges and their clerks.  Spring semester, 2024, will see ASL hosting the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims for oral arguments, dinner with students and faculty, and a networking social event with the judges and their clerks.

ASL’s Implementation Plan called for faculty to incorporate aspects of revised Standard 303(b) and (c) into their courses whenever possible.  ASL conducted a curriculum survey[2] of all full-time and adjunct faculty at the conclusion of Spring semester, 2023, for all courses taught during the 2022-2023 academic year.  This survey included specific questions about the inclusion of activities, discussions, and exercises that provided opportunities related to revised Standard 303(b) (“to engage in thoughtful self-reflection on the development of a professional identity that utilizes the student’s unique aptitudes and capacities” or “PIF”) and 303(c) (“demonstrating the ability to effectively build professional relationships across racial and cultural differences and to engage in culturally competent interactions” or “cross-cultural competency”).

Of the fourteen required 1L courses, 50% reported already incorporating PIF elements (including Intentional Torts and Criminal Law), and 43% reported already incorporating cross-cultural competency elements (such as Introduction to Externships and Legal Process II).  66% of the six required 2L courses incorporated PIF (e.g., Constitutional Law II and Criminal Procedure) and 33% incorporated cross-cultural competency elements (including Constitutional Law I and Professional Responsibility).  Of the three required 3L bar preparation courses, 66% incorporated PIF elements but none incorporated cross-cultural competency elements.  The Implementation Plan anticipated that several elective courses would incorporate PIF and/or cross-cultural competency elements, but the survey revealed higher results than expected.  Of the 40 elective courses surveyed, 24 courses (60%) incorporated PIF elements (such as Administrative Law; Conflicts; and Employment Law) and another 24 courses (60%) incorporated cross-cultural competency (e.g., Poverty, Health & Law; Marijuana Law; and Information Privacy Law); 23 courses incorporated both (including Family Law; Sentencing; and History of Race & the Law).  Notably, of the eleven elective experiential learning courses, ten (91%) incorporated PIF (such as Criminal Practice and The Law of Starting a New Business) and nine (82%) incorporated cross-cultural competency (e.g., Estate Planning and Trial Advocacy).

Even before the full deployment of its Implementation Plan, ASL “provid[ed both] substantial opportunities to students for the development of a professional identity” and also “education to law students on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism.” ASL is pleased with its progress on meeting revised ABA Standard 303, and looks forward to fine-tuning and fully-employing its Implementation Plan for even greater integration of PIF and cross-cultural competency into its J.D. program.

Should you have any questions or if you would like to discuss the implementation of ASL’s plan, then please contact me at

[1] See

[2] This Curriculum Mapping Survey was primarily designed to gauge how ASL is meeting its Learning Outcomes and secondarily to assess the curriculum’s readiness for the NextGen Bar Exam.

Dawn Figueiras is an Assistant Professor of Law, the Associate General Counsel, and Chair of the Curriculum Committee at Appalachian School of Law.

David Grenardo

If You’re Looking for Professional Identity Formation Resources, Then You’ve Come to the Right Place

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 for Ethical Leadership in the Professions at the University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota) strives to share as many resources with others as possible. In an effort to make resources even more accessible, the Holloran Center has revamped its website to deliver those resources in a user-friendly manner.

The home page of the Holloran Center website begins with links (on the right side of the page) to (1) short, useful definitions of professional identity and professional identity formation, (2) three articles that explain the ABA’s changes to its standards 303(b) and (c), and (3) two groundbreaking articles on law students’ well-being.

As you scroll down the home page, four major links can be found under the heading “How to Get Started”: (1) Get to Know the Holloran Center, (2) Review Changes to Standard 303, (3) Explore our Tools and Resources, and (4) See Our Research and Training. Each of these four major categories is discussed below.

The first major link, Get to Know the Holloran Center, takes the user to a page that features the leadership team of the Holloran Center, including its Co-Directors Neil Hamilton and Jerry Organ, along with me, and the Holloran Center Fellows, Barbara Glesner Fines, Kendall Kerew, and Lou Bilionis. It also includes links to pages about Tom Holloran, who is the inspiration and namesake of the Center, along with a Donors and Partners page.

The second major link, Review Changes to Standard 303, leads to a page that includes (1) a list of existing entry ramps for schools to incorporate professional identity formation and (2) a link to an open access book – Law Student Professional Development and Formation: Bridging Law School, Student, and Employer Goals – that provides a straightforward and detailed look at the changes to 303(b) and (c) and suggestions regarding how to comply with those standards, and (3) the introductory materials mentioned above (short definitions of PI and PIF and three short articles about the changes to the ABA standards).

The third major link – Explore our Tools and Resources – brings up three more links on that topic: Learning Outcomes Database; Holloran Competency Milestones; and Professional Development Database.

The Learning Outcomes Database contains a searchable list of all law school learning outcomes that were available on law school websites as of January 2022. The Holloran Center identified those law schools with “basic” learning outcomes – those that recite the language of Standard 302 and nothing more. The Holloran Center also identified those law schools with more robust learning outcomes than required by the language of Standard 302.

The Holloran Competency Milestones are rubrics that describe the various stages of development associated with learning outcomes. In other words, they provide a tool to assess whether (and to what extent) law students are reaching learning outcomes in a variety of areas, including the following:

The Professional Development Database list includes 62 first-year, required, law school professional development initiatives based on information from law school websites as of November 2019. This list, as well as the Learning Outcomes Database, are currently being updated by research assistants for the Holloran Center. The updates should be available by September 1, 2023.

The fourth major link, See Our Research and Training, consists of three links itself. The first is the Roadmap for Employment, which is the award-winning book that provides a template for law students to use throughout all three years of law school to be fully prepared to find meaningful employment upon graduation. ABA Books will publish the substantially revised third edition of Roadmap on August 1st of this year; the latest edition is streamlined and even more law-student friendly at 51 pages total.

The second link under Research and Training, Coach Training, offers coaching tips and a guide to perform one-on-one coaching with law students, which is the most effective method to foster each student’s professional growth. The third link contains extensive Research on Professional Formation in multiple areas, such as professional formation overview, the importance of professional formation, promoting student self-direction, fostering a fiduciary mindset, assessing student professional development, legal education observations, and law student well-being and satisfaction.

As you scroll down the home page, there is a link to the Holloran Center Professional Identity Implementation Blog, which features useful and creative articles by contributors from law schools across the entire country.

Scrolling down further on the home page one will find several of the four major links described above.

We are thankful for the excellent work of Carrie Hilger at the University of St. Thomas School of Law and the University of St. Thomas IT Department in revising the Holloran Center website. We are particularly grateful to Skylar Peyton, a rising 3L at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, whose attention to detail, work ethic, and dedication helped to vastly improve the website.

The Holloran Center hopes that its website continues to serve as a valuable hub for free and accessible professional identity resources that can benefit law schools across the nation.

Should you have any questions or needs, please feel free to contact us.

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.