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Dec. 3, 2010
Professionalism Event Aims to Prepare Law Students

Justice Terrence O’Donnell challenges attendees of the Student to Lawyer Symposium to continue promoting professionalism.Experienced attorneys, new lawyers, judges and law school deans, professors and students gathered today at the Ohio Judicial Center for a one-day seminar to discuss ideas for enhancing Ohio law school students’ professionalism.

Sponsored by the Supreme Court of Ohio Commission on Professionalism, each presentation at the first Student to Lawyer Symposium focused on better preparing students for the practice of law by emphasizing the critical nature of professionalism in their first year and beyond.

Chief Justice Eric Brown, who provided welcoming remarks, spoke of the impact of a recent report by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching on the education of the legal profession and the ongoing work in Ohio to address the report’s findings.

Justice Terrence O’Donnell, a former commission member and strong supporter of the Lawyer to Lawyer Mentoring program, challenged all involved to continue to make progress on promoting professionalism.

“Each person in this room has an important role to play to ensure every new attorney is adequately prepared for a career in law,” he said. “I stand ready to assist in any effort – large or small – that holds promise in achieving these objectives.”

Some of the highlights of those presentations included:

Today’s symposium follows a statewide discussion among law school deans last year hosted by the Commission on Professionalism. Under Gov. Bar R. XV, the commission is charged with monitoring and coordinating professionalism efforts and activities in Ohio law schools and assisting in the development of law school curricula that emphasize professionalism. The December 2009 meeting re-engaged law school deans in discussions that began years ago about their respective professionalism programs.

Much of the efforts by the commission to address this issue stem from the Carnegie report Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law. The report contends that although legal education does a remarkable job of teaching analytic thinking, it could do more to fully integrate the practical skills necessary for the effective practice of law and better address the development of professional identity and values of future lawyers.

Contact: Chris Davey or Bret Crow, 614.387.9250.