Jordanian University Adopts a Professional Legal Ethics Course

August 2009

Yarmouk University recently adopted a professional legal ethics course,which was developed with the ABA Rule of Law Initiative’s (ABA ROLI’s) technical assistance. Over the past year, a working group of Jordanian law professors developed a course that was both relevant to Jordan’s legal system andc onsistent with international standards. Prior to this effort, none of the 12Jordanian law schools offered an ethics course. Yarmouk University will lead by launching the course this fall, while others are expected to follow suit soon.

Professor Pat Costello, from the University of Idaho, visited Jordan to advise the working group in refining its draft course outline and provided several references to help with developing course materials. He guest-taught anumber of lectures, demonstrating interactive teaching methodologies, such asrole play exercises.

Jordanian professors also participated in a 2009 United States study trip,which they said was helpful. Four professors visited Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles, CA, to study how legal professional ethics courses are taught inAmerican law schools. They met with their American counterparts to discuss methodological approaches and visited the ABA for a panel discussion on ethics codes and regulations. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Judith Chirlin, member of the ABA ROLI Board, hosted the delegation at her court and at thelocal American Inn of Court meeting. The American Inn of Court is a legal mentoring organization, which provides law students and recent law graduates anopportunity to boost their skills by working with seasoned attorneys andjudges.

ABA ROLI has been assisting Jordanian universities develop various courses—including legal English, alternative dispute resolution, and legalresearch and writing courses—to enhance their curriculum. ABA ROLI will continue its support of the curriculum-development efforts to help boost theircapacity and modernize Jordanian legal education.

To learn more about our work in Jordan, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at <rol@staff.abanet.org>.

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