MCLE Credits Offered: 2 Ethics Credits for Panel I (Pending Approval)
It is no secret that lawyers have developed a bad reputation. The jokes go on for days about how they are liars, cheaters, and frauds, always chasing an ambulance, looking for a fight, or falsifying documents. Studies have even shown that attorneys are the second most depressed professionals, second only to dentists. What is a good, honest lawyer who is looking for fulfillment in his profession to do about such negative stereotypes?
The truth is that most lawyers do not enter the legal profession planning to lie, cheat, or steal. However, the competitive nature of the profession and atmosphere of law schools and law practice alike foster tendencies to perceive the world in a way that makes many lawyers prone to unethical decisions. Oftentimes, the negative decisions start out as what some consider "white lies," becoming more serious over time until one day, a lawyer could wake up wondering how his or her practice came to be so slimy. And before they know it, the consequences catch up to them.
In recent years, the idea of professional identity formation has emerged as one of the best ways to help avoid the common ethical pitfalls that so easily entangle legal practitioners. By forming a professional identity, an attorney forms an internal basis for making decisions, instead of focusing on the external motivations that often lead to ethical violations.
Practitioners, professors, students, of all professions are encouraged to attend this informative and educational seminar that will teach attendees about professional identity, including how to develop it themselves and how to tailor it to their personalities.