Legal Education and the Formation of Professional Identity: A Critical Spirituo-humanistic – “Humanity Consciousness” – Perspective


Over the past generation, sociologists, critical legal theorists, and commentators from various perspectives have increasingly focused on what might be called the identity crisis among American lawyers. This evidence of a crisis of despair among lawyers comes as no surprise to critical theorists-also known as “Crits”-in legal academia. Since the earliest days of the development of critical legal studies, Crits have focused on the alienation and despair which are the common consequences of both traditional legal education and the professional identity inculcated in the legal education and socialization process. Recent attention to widespread dissatisfaction among law students and lawyers may, however, provide a new opportunity to re-think and reconstruct the legal education process and develop proposals that address this malaise through radical institutional reform.

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