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Ethical Formation Center Named "Innovative"

By Brett Wilson | September 27, 2013

The 2013 "back to school" issue of preLaw magazine.
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In its Sept. 2013 "back to school" issue, preLaw magazine, a premiere publication for prospective law students, listed Regent University School of Law's Center for Ethical Formation & Legal Education Reform as one of legal education's "25 Innovative Ideas."

"I am pleased with the recognition in preLaw magazine, as it is another indicator of how legal education is recognizing the importance of renewed focus in the character formation of law students," said School of Law professor and co-director of the center, L.O. Natt Gantt.

The article praises the Center for Ethical Formation & Legal Education Reform's vigilance in preparing its students to develop high standards of ethical and moral behavior in addition to their traditional legal education. According to preLaw, a recent study by the Carnegie Foundation indicated that many programs fail to adequately prepare students for the issues that arise in the professional realm.

Benjamin Madison, School of Law professor and co-director of the center, explained that while it is well to incorporate vital guidelines for practicing attorneys such as the Model Rules and Rules of Professional Conduct into legal educations, many situations that arise in the legal field may not be black and white.

"These were never intended to be our moral or ethical code; they are just a subset of principles that cover specific scenarios in law practice," said Madison. "We note that the most effective lawyers are respectful and that the notion that a lawyer has to be disagreeable and contentious to be effective is a misconception."

The center, while providing courses such as Christian Foundations of Law, also pairs students with Christian lawyers and judges to help guide and mentor students as they discover how to incorporate Biblical principles into their budding legal careers.

"Legal employers and clients want more than lawyers who are just knowledgeable about law and lawyering skills; they also desire lawyers who have key character traits that are important to legal professionals, including integrity, honesty, trustworthiness, perseverance and self-awareness," said Gantt. "Through the initiatives of the center...the law school will be able to develop further efforts to educate our students in these character traits that are important to the practice of law."

This is a task that both Gantt and Madison are proud to contribute to, as they continue to lead students through the development of their life-skills and discovery of God's calling on their lives as they complete their legal education.

"Our vision is for the center to be a leading voice in this movement focusing on how legal education can better develop the character and professional identities of law students," said Gantt. "Professor Madison and I are excited about how Regent Law can contribute to this dialogue in the legal academy and the legal profession."

Learn more about Regent University School of Law and the Center for Ethical Formation & Legal Education Reform.

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Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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