Scholarly Articles and Other Contributions
 

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2006

Abstract

The vast majority of the work taking place in most law schools is the preparation of law students for the practice of law; namely, to teach legal theory and doctrine, legal analysis, writing, and advocacy. In sum, the goal of most law schools is to teach the many different skills required in law practice and the professional rules of legal ethics. What appears to be lacking in the preparation of future lawyers are lessons on how to incorporate this vast amount of specialized learning and skill in ways that will be harmonious with the personal, moral, and ethical values that they possessed at the commencement of their legal education.

Law students often find their values challenged by the many different lessons on rules of law and equity and the notions of justice introduced during their legal education. Although many law schools have added community service components to the law school curricular requirements in order to raise the consciousness of law students to pro bono service, more needs to be done to emphasize the necessity of the individual's sense of morality and personal ethics as a guiding force in influencing the character of the lawyer he or she will become.

One of the most dramatic examples of a lawyer whose career exemplified the absolute union of the individual's sense of morality and ethical character with the practice of law and service

was Sir Thomas More, "the patron saint of Catholic lawyers." His life is remote in time to ours (he was born in 1478), and his experience would be unlikely for today's lawyers. Nevertheless, his story can be used to remind entering law students that their professional careers must be informed by their personal, ethical, and moral values, and that profession and values must compliment a person's life rather than divide a life into separate parts.

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