In The Legal Profession, students wrestle with realistic problems that force them to apply the rules of professional responsibility and to comprehend how economics, workplace pressures, and organizational incentives affect lawyers.
All law schools offer standard first-year courses: contracts, torts, property. The Maurer School of Law goes a step further, by giving students the tools they need to evaluate their strengths and interests as they chart the career path that’s right for them.
All first-year students at Indiana Law are enrolled in The Legal Profession, an innovative four-hour course on the ethics, competencies, and economics of the legal profession. The Legal Profession uses legal ethics and the law of lawyering as the spine of a course that immerses students in a variety of practice settings and that educates them on the competencies they must develop to succeed in their professional lives.
In The Legal Profession, students wrestle with realistic problems that force them to apply the rules of professional responsibility and to comprehend how economics, workplace pressures, and organizational incentives affect lawyers. Working in teams, students present or enact their solutions and are critiqued by the instructors and their fellow students. Twice during the semester, students engage in formal reviews of the performance of their teams, their team mates, and themselves. The goal is to prepare students for the ethical and professional challenges they will soon face.
Professor Charles Geyh, pictured above, is one of the instructors. Geyh is an expert on judical ethics and the legal profession. Other experts in the profession, including Professor Carole Silver and Professor Carwina Weng, also teach the course. The course curriculum is defined by the pathbreaking work of Indiana Law’s Center on the Global Legal Profession, the only center the United States that conducts empirical research on the profession under the leadership of its director, Professor William Henderson.
First-year students also complete the Effective Lawyer Profile, a 360° feedback instrument that assesses their strengths and talents. The profile helps guide students as they plan a professional career that aligns closely with their skills. Students use it when working with the Office of Career and Professional development on a custom-tailored career plan.
First-year students are also paired with a Practice Group Advisor, who works closely with 1Ls to assess their interests, abilities, and values in the legal profession. PGAs help students define their career aspirations and design the best course of study.