Research Seminar 17 June 2020
Reflection and how students learn about their ethical duty to contribute to justice
This seminar will explore, in an interactive format, teaching students how to reflect as a means to inculcate students’ capacity to contribute to justice. Concepts of professionalism and lawyers’ ethical duty to contribute to justice have been discussed increasingly over the last 30 years in each of the common law jurisdictions. Arising out of understandings of professionalism, the rule of law, as well as model codes of conduct for solicitors, lawyers have an ethical duty to contribute to building the justice of law and the legal system. Learning how to reflect is an essential part of being able to fulfil this duty, and clinical legal education as a method within legal education is an effective means to teach students, our future lawyers, how to reflect. They learn how to deal with ‘disorienting moments’ and to make sense of the messiness and complexity of legal practice through a process of self-reflection and reflection on law and the legal system. The seminar will cover the range of ways in which reflection can be taught to emphasise the integration of values, emotions, thinking and analytical skills in forming lawyers who are well-rounded lawyers. A growth mindset which recognizes the ability of brains to constantly change and grow is a radical and positive development in our understanding of intelligence which supports the nurturing of lawyers’ ability to reflect and continue to fulfil their ethical duty to work towards justice in some form.