Measuring Professionalism - Breakout #1

Friday, June 1 
(3:40 - 5:00pm)

Moderator: Jayne Reardon
Panelists: John Berry, Clark Cunningham, Benajmin Grimes

In designing law school curriculum, transition to practice programs for new lawyers, and remediation for sanctioned attorneys, there is an increasing recognition that ethical conduct – and professional misconduct – are strongly linked to the formation of professional identity: understanding the values and norms of the profession and internalizing them into one’s own sense of self.

In the late 1980s Dr. Muriel Bebeau agreed to design a remediation program for disciplined dentists, using a series of psychological tests she developed in the design of the professionalism curriculum at the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry.  These tests identified problems with moral reasoning and professional identity formation and measured the effectiveness of the remediation program in addressing these problems. (Dentists completing the program returned to practice with a very low rate of recidivism.)  More recently Dr. Bebeau used similar tests to design and assess a program to remediate a large cohort of medical students caught in a cheating scandal.

The program will describe how existing programs evaluate the effectiveness of efforts to form and improve professional identity and then explore the feasibility of adapting Dr. Bebeau’s tests to measure lawyer professionalism.


  1. ABA CPR 2018 Assessing Effectiveness
  2. CPR 18 Bebeau 2 Thoma Cunningham Professional Identity Formation Mercer LRev
  3. CPR 18 Cunningham Remediation Program for Dentists

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