Published on International Forum on Teaching Legal Ethics and Professionalism(

Law Student Preferences for Ethics Education

Long title
What do we want? What do we need? Do we even need it at all? Monash University Law Students' Perspectives on their Preferences for Ethical Legal Education
Lansdell, Gaye
Author(s)' contact information
Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
Conference title
International Legal Ethics Conference VI
Conference location
City University London
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The paper proposes to report on the interim results of a study currently being conducted at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia involving various cohorts of undergraduate and postgraduate students enrolled in ethics units such as Lawyers, Ethics and Society and Lawyer’s Responsibilities as to their views on what is required for an 'ethical legal education’ in this era of globalisation and technological advances. The paper also reflects on some of the key impediments identified which impact on the capacity of instructors to imbibe the concept of ethical lawyering into the student psyche of some of the relevant cohorts. Issues include: student resistance to ethical education and the effect that prior inadequate courses can have on the overall perception of the usefulness of ethical instruction at the university level. In addition, traditional ethics courses contextualise solicitors primarily as concerned with providing legal services within the private law firm. However, with increasing numbers of law graduates in Victoria and an expansion of employment opportunities into the corporate sphere as in-house counsel, the question arises as whether the time has come for university ethics courses to better prepare students to work in other areas of legal practice (including government and community legal centres) recognising that the private law firm may not be the employment pathway of choice for many students. The author believes this analysis is timely and ripe for further debate in an international context given the current reviews being undertaken into the content of legal education courses generally in Australia, the United Kingdom and North America.
Other Topics
Lawyer Regulation

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