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Legal Methods Professor Amanda Smith teaches students valuable legal research and writing skills.
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Professionalism in Law School and Law Practice: Three Case Studies
(Production of these videos was made possible through grants from the Association of Legal Writing Directors and Widener University School of Law)

Legal Methods Professors Mary Ann Robinson and Alison Donahue Kehner have developed a series of short filmed vignettes to be used to teach law students about concepts of professionalism.  They are intended to be used to help our students realize that their careers as lawyers commence in law school, and that they must begin to adopt and emulate standards of professionalism in law school that they will carry with them when they become legal professionals.  Choices made now not only impact their professional reputations, but also establish patterns that can serve them for the better or for the worse in practice.

There are also teaching materials available for download below that can be used in connection with the videos:

pdf icon   Download Discussion Questions to use with Professionalism Vignettes (.pdf)

Descriptions of the vignettes:

The “Natalie” vignette addresses the lawyer’s duty of candor including (1) a law student misrepresenting her class rank on a resume and then failing to acknowledge the discrepancy when caught; and (2) the same student (now a lawyer) purposely omitting possibly relevant law in a brief and then having to address that deficiency at oral argument.

The “George” vignette is designed to be a springboard for discussing the following: (1) the importance of developing good habits related to independent thought and analysis early on in law school, and (2) how habits (good or bad) will be perceived in law practice (or at a summer job).

The “Larry” vignette addresses preparedness, timeliness, professional demeanor, and respect for colleagues and the court. The similar conduct in different factual settings highlights that habits (good or bad) are formed early on, and that poor habits have negative consequences for the lawyer and his or client.