About the Center for Ethical Formation
According to the Carnegie Foundation’s landmark report, Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Practice of Law (2007), law schools need to place greater emphasis on offering an integrated curriculum that cultivates students’ moral formation and understanding of what it means to practice law with professional and personal integrity.
Founded in November 2012, the Center for Ethical Formation & Legal Education Reform coordinates the programs and resources Regent Law has committed to developing students’ professional identities. It accentuates Regent Law’s expertise in providing practical training that develops in students the practical judgment important to the practice of law.
The Center’s goal is to produce lawyers who have an understanding of the nature and purpose of the legal profession and are committed to the ethical practice of law. To that end, the Center has developed the Mentor Program to facilitate the ethical Christian character formation of Regent Law students. Our mentors represent a variety of practice and geographical legal communities around the country, but each seeks to support and encourage The Center’s mission of fostering our students’ professional identity formation.
Thought Leadership. The Center’s faculty publish and present on the topic of professional identity formation nationwide. The Center also fosters scholarly inquiry into the pedagogy of moral formation by promoting how law professors can learn to teach within both cognitive and affective paradigms. In this effort, the Center has worked with individual professors to incorporate ethical formation instruction into their doctrinal teaching. The Center also provides continuing legal education (CLE) courses on ethical formation and the legal profession.
Mentoring Program. The Center pairs incoming first-year students with practicing legal professionals who embody integrity and strong moral character. Mentors assist students in preparing for the challenges of the legal profession and in developing a moral compass.
Event Programming. The Center sponsors presentations and panels on topics related to ethical decision-making, professional identity development, and character formation all relevant to real-life practice settings.
Core Coursework. Core courses such as “Christian Foundations of Law” introduce students to classic texts on the nature of the law and legal ethics.
Ethical Formation. All courses, where possible, encourage students to produce critical reflection on value conflicts and ethical dilemmas, encouraging students to go beyond simply “learning the rules” of ethical practice.
Critical Reflection. Every class includes an extra period of reflection designed to explore the dynamics of moral formation and ethical legal practice in the context of biblical principles, virtue ethics, and natural law.