Legal Ethics Education: From Academic Foundation through Professional Practice
This article by Arthur Gross-Schaefer, J.D., CPA and Rabbi & Lawrence P. Kalbers, Ph.D., CPA considers ethics education in undergraduate programs, law schools, and continuing professional development for practicing professionals. It reviews and evaluates the legal profession, and particularly Continuing Legal Education (CLE) ethics courses, as an example of the need for a broader, principles-based approach to ethics education in academic programs and continuing education for professionals. Recommendations are presented on how tools, such as listing core values, creation of a personal mission statement, and the utilization of a comprehensive ethical decision model, can be incorporated into CLE ethics courses for attorneys as well as in ethics education in business law courses and law programs. Results are presented from a survey about ethical dilemmas that was developed and distributed to a sample of lawyers taking CLE ethics courses. Finally, this paper demonstrates how the recommended tools can be employed to enhance business law courses, law school courses, and CLE ethics courses for discussing and solving ethical dilemmas, particularly those that cannot be satisfactorily resolved using a rules-based approach.