Training Lawyers, Cultivating Citizens, and Re-Enchanting the Legal Professional
Law schools ought to have a vision for how they contribute to the public good. This article identifies two views of how public value might fit into the mission of the law school. The additive view holds that pursuing public value (cultivating “citizens”) and training “lawyers” are distinct objectives. This view underlies traditional claims that the law school should be housed in the university, and also accounts for the historic tension between academic law schools and the profession.
By contrast, the integrative view holds that training lawyers and cultivating citizens are mutually reinforcing. This view inheres in the desire to ennoble the concept of professionalism, an old tendency that is presently in ascendance. A law school that embraces professionalism can place public value at the core of its mission, deploying its internal incentive structures in the service of the public good. However, the concept is at risk of becoming diluted or being imperfectly translated into practice. Furthermore, a sole focus on professionalism may marginalize or exclude certain conceptions of citizenship.
To optimize its public value, the law school that embraces professionalism should take pains to ensure it retains its robust meaning. It can do so by locating discussions about public purpose in the privileged parts of the law school, and by investing in pedagogical innovations that truly integrate conceptions of “citizen” and “lawyer.” These efforts should be supplemented by innovations that promote diverse conceptions of the citizen that do not fit cleanly into the rubric of professionalism.
Author(s) retain original copyright in the substantive content of the titled work, subject to the following rights that are granted indefinitely:
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to produce, publish, disseminate, and distribute the titled work in electronic format to online database services, including, but not limited to: LexisNexis, QuickLaw, HeinOnline, and EBSCO;
- Author(s) grant the Alberta Law Review permission to post the titled work on the Alberta Law Review website and/or related websites.
- Author(s) agree that the titled work may be used for educational or instructional purposes and/or in educational or instructional materials. The author(s) acknowledge that the titled work is subject to other such "fair dealing" provisions and applicable legislation.
- Author(s) grant a limited license to those accessing the titled work from an electronic database or an Alberta Law Review website to download the titled work onto their computer and to print a copy for their own personal, non-commercial use, subject to proper attribution.
To use the journal's content elsewhere, permission must be obtained from the author(s) and the Alberta Law Review.