Towards ethical literacy by enhancing reflexivity in law students

Edited book (chapter)


Crowley-Cyr, Lynda. 2011. "Towards ethical literacy by enhancing reflexivity in law students." Robertson, Michael, Corbin, Lillian, Tranter, Kieran and Bartlett, Francesca (ed.) The ethics project in legal education. London, England. Routledge. pp. 142-170
Chapter Title

Towards ethical literacy by enhancing reflexivity in law students

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID3137
3415
Book TitleThe ethics project in legal education
Authors
AuthorCrowley-Cyr, Lynda
EditorsRobertson, Michael, Corbin, Lillian, Tranter, Kieran and Bartlett, Francesca
Page Range142-170
SeriesRoutledge Research in Legal Ethics
Chapter Number8
Number of Pages29
Year2011
PublisherRoutledge
Taylor & Francis
Place of PublicationLondon, England
ISBN9780415546515
Web Address (URL)http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415546515/
Abstract

Legal ethics is typically taught as part of the undergraduate law degree in Australia. In this chapter, I share why I do what I do: the theories that inform my classroom practice, and my experiences in teaching legal ethics at James Cook University in North Queensland. The teaching approach I have developed aims to better equip students to become reflexive, ethically literate professionals. Other teachers who may be seeking an approach to engaging students in a more authentic adult learning experience may find my reflections useful.

My core proposition is that legal education in general does not adequately prepare students for the pressures of legal practice. Today's practising lawyers must manage a seemingly irreconcilable tension between making a profit and providing ethically and technically appropriate professional service. Meanwhile, phenomena such as mental ill-health, substance abuse and apparent ethical blindness to or complicity in unethical conduct suggest a deficit in lawyers 'reflexive capacity'. Such wider moral and ethical questions - which, as Giddens says, 'day-to-day life poses but which are denied answers' - form a key part of my teaching process. In my experience, teaching legal ethics must include more than dictating professional rules and interpretive case law for students to memorize and regurgitate. Knowledge of the ethical rules associated with practising law is a requirement for admission as a legal practitioner in Australia. However, this knowledge alone does not provide students with the necessary tools to engage the moral self with the professional rules. The premise upon which reflexive ethical literacy is grounded is that law schools have a public duty to educate future professionals who have internalized an autonomous capacity to apply ethics in the practice of law.

Traditional law school curricula emphasizes critical analysis of law and society. This preoccupation with the cognitive domain, however, means that students who have almost completed their law degrees may have had little opportunity to rigorously scrutinize their personal values or their knowledge of the values of the legal profession. In an atttempt to address this lack, my approach to teaching legal ethics is embedded in the scholarship of modernity, critical literacy and adult education. It is influenced by clinical educators of various disciplines to provide an inter-professssional knowledge base.

This chapter is presented in three parts. The first section discusses theories of modernity that help explain changes in the legal profession that impact on the ethical practice of law and the emotional and mental state of lawyers. Recent findings about similar problems experienced by graduating law students support my proposition that a teaching approach that enhances students' reflexive capacity is critical to enabling them to identify and manage ethical challenges. Emotional intelligence and moral courage are also paramount in enabling students to become more aware of how they (and the communities to which they belong, past and present) are engaged in an ongoing process of identity-construction.

The second part of the chapter briefly discusses some of the assumptions and shortcomings of pedagogy and andragogy in legal education in terms of preparing students for ethical practice. My goal is to build a bridge between what is an essentially pedagogical approach to curriculum and an andragogical one embedded in reflexivity. This 'hybrid', combining pedagogy and andragogy, is one way of assisting students to make the transition from university to professional life. Andragogical ideas, theories and methods for adult education, developed notably by Knowles and Freire, have specific benefits for teaching legal ethics. The students who take my subject are typically adults, and a robust literature establishes that adults learn in a manner qualitatively different from that which suits pre-adult students.

The third section turns to the curriculum design of my legal ethics subject, and provides some reflections on the reflexive andragogic approach that I have taken. Some of the responses from students who have taken my subject, past and present, are included.

Keywordsethics; ethical literacy
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020489999. Other law and legal studies not elsewhere classified
500105. Legal ethics
520102. Educational psychology
Public Notes

Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.

Byline AffiliationsJames Cook University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Permalink -

https://research.usq.edu.au/item/q0y41/towards-ethical-literacy-by-enhancing-reflexivity-in-law-students

  • 2006
    total views
  • 43
    total downloads
  • 0
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month

Export as

Related outputs

Consultation Dr Submission to the Queensland Work and Electrical Safety Policy Office of Industrial Relations – Recreational Diving, Recreational Technical Diving and Snorkelling Code of Practice 2023
Crowley-Cyr, Lynda. 2023. Consultation Dr Submission to the Queensland Work and Electrical Safety Policy Office of Industrial Relations – Recreational Diving, Recreational Technical Diving and Snorkelling Code of Practice 2023. Australia. University of Southern Queensland.
LexisNexis Questions and Answers: Contract Law
McNamara, Noeleen and Crowley-Cyr, Lynda. 2023. LexisNexis Questions and Answers: Contract Law. Australia. LexisNexis Butterworths.
The ethics review and the humanities and social sciences: disciplinary distinctions in ethics review processes
Carniel, Jessica, Hickey, Andrew, Southey, Kim, Bromdal, Annette, Crowley-Cyr, Lynda, Eacersall, Douglas, Farmer, Will, Gehrmann, Richard, Machin, Tanya and Pillay, Yosheen. 2022. "The ethics review and the humanities and social sciences: disciplinary distinctions in ethics review processes." Research Ethics. 19 (2), pp. 139-156. https://doi.org/10.1177/17470161221147202
Jellyfish risk communications: The effect on risk perception, travel intentions and behaviour, and beach tourism destinations
Crowley-Cyr, Lynda, Gershwin, Lisa-ann, Bremser, Kerstin, Abraham, Villy, Moreno-Martin, Maria J., Carreno, Mercedes and Wust, Kirsten. 2022. "Jellyfish risk communications: The effect on risk perception, travel intentions and behaviour, and beach tourism destinations." Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management. 51, pp. 196-206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhtm.2022.03.002
Application of the health belief model to explain public perceptions, travel intentions and actions during COVID-19: a sequential transformative design
Bremser, Kerstin, Crowley-Cyr, Lynda, Abraham, Villy, Moreno-Martin, Maria J. and Carreno, Mercedes. 2022. "Application of the health belief model to explain public perceptions, travel intentions and actions during COVID-19: a sequential transformative design." Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights. 5 (5), pp. 865-885. https://doi.org/10.1108/JHTI-12-2020-0235
Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs- The Adequacy and Efficacy of Australia's Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Regime
Crowley-Cyr, Lynda and Caple, Carole. 2021. Submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs- The Adequacy and Efficacy of Australia's Anti-Money Laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Regime. Australia. Parliament of Australia.
Beyond criticism of ethics review boards: strategies for engaging research communities and enhancing ethical review processes
Hickey, Andrew, Davis, Samantha, Farmer, Will, Dawidowicz, Julianna, Moloney, Clint, Lamont-Mills, Andrea, Carniel, Jess, Pillay, Yosheen, Akenson, David, Bromdal, Annette, Gehrmann, Richard, Mills, Dean, Kolbe-Alexander, Tracy, Machin, Tanya, Reich, Suzanne, Southey, Kim, Crowley-Cyr, Lynda, Watanabe, Taiji, Davenport, Josh, ..., Maxwell, Jacinta. 2021. "Beyond criticism of ethics review boards: strategies for engaging research communities and enhancing ethical review processes." Journal of Academic Ethics. 20, pp. 549-567. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10805-021-09430-4
Satisfying Many Masters: Teaching into Professional Degrees in the 21st Century
Collins, Pauline and Crowley-Cyr, Lynda. 2021. "Satisfying Many Masters: Teaching into Professional Degrees in the 21st Century." Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice. 18 (1), pp. 1-4. https://doi.org/10.53761/1.18.1.1
Forecasting hazardous jellyfish: shifting perceptions from black swans events to white
Gershwin, Lisa-ann and Crowley-Cyr, Lynda. 2021. "Forecasting hazardous jellyfish: shifting perceptions from black swans events to white." Marittini, Gian Luigi, Killi, Nurcin and Xiao, Liang (ed.) The cnidaria: only a problem or also a resource?. Hauppauge, NY, USA. Nova Science Publishers. pp. 123-140
Protecting the public from hazardous jellyfish: a wicked problem for regulators and operators?
Crowley-Cyr, Lynda and Gershwin, Lisa-ann. 2021. "Protecting the public from hazardous jellyfish: a wicked problem for regulators and operators?" Mariottini, Gian Luigi, Killi, Nurcin and Xiao, Liang (ed.) The cnidaria: only a problem or also a resource?. Hauppauge, NY, USA. Nova Science Publishers. pp. 99-122
Submission to the Office of the National Data Commissioner - Data Availability and Transparency Bill 2020
Crowley-Cyr, Lynda and Caple, Carole. 2020. Submission to the Office of the National Data Commissioner - Data Availability and Transparency Bill 2020. Australia. Office of the National Data Commissioner.
Exploring the consequences of COVID-19 on tourist behaviors: perceived travel risk, animosity and intentions to travel
Abraham, Villy, Bremser, Kerstin, Carreno, Mercedes, Crowley-Cyr, Lynda and Moreno, Maria. 2021. "Exploring the consequences of COVID-19 on tourist behaviors: perceived travel risk, animosity and intentions to travel." Tourism Review. 76 (4), pp. 701-717. https://doi.org/10.1108/TR-07-2020-0344
Workplace Safety, Deadly Jellyfish And Tourists: A Novel Approach To An Emergent Problem
Crowley-Cyr, Lynda. 2020. "Workplace Safety, Deadly Jellyfish And Tourists: A Novel Approach To An Emergent Problem." University of Queensland Law Journal. 39 (3), pp. 549-567.
Using Peer Assisted Learning to improve academic engagement and progression of first year online law students
Crowley-Cyr, Lynda and Hevers, James. 2021. "Using Peer Assisted Learning to improve academic engagement and progression of first year online law students." Journal of University Teaching and Learning Practice. 18 (1), pp. 1-17.
Submission to Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment – inquiry into the mental health of first responders
Crowley-Cyr, Lynda and Hevers, James. 2018. Submission to Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment – inquiry into the mental health of first responders. Canberra, Australia. Parliament of Australia.
Submission on the proposed draft Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines - Poultry, submission m205
Crowley-Cyr, L. and Caple, C.. 2018. Submission on the proposed draft Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines - Poultry, submission m205. Braddon, ACT, Australia. Animal Health Australia.
Are warning signs effective in communicating jellyfish hazards?
Crowley-Cyr, Lynda. 2018. "Are warning signs effective in communicating jellyfish hazards?" Journal of Health, Safety and Environment. 34 (2), pp. 181-197.
Legal and ethical issues
Crowley-Cyr, Lynda and Piovesana, Adina. 2018. "Legal and ethical issues." Kring, Ann M., Kyrios, Michael, Fassnacht, Daniel, Lambros, Amanda, Mihaljcic, Tijana and Teesson, Maree (ed.) Abnormal psychology, 1st Australasian ed.. Milton, Qld., Australia. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 684-721
Promoting mental wellbeing in law students: breaking-down stigma and building bridges with peers and support services
Crowley-Cyr, Lynda. 2014. "Promoting mental wellbeing in law students: breaking-down stigma and building bridges with peers and support services." QUT Law Review. 14 (1), pp. 129-152. https://doi.org/10.5204/qutlr.v14i1.529
Public authority responses to marine stinger public health risks: a scenario analysis of the Irukandji health threat in controlled spaces at public beaches in Australia
Crowley-Cyr, Lynda. 2012. "Public authority responses to marine stinger public health risks: a scenario analysis of the Irukandji health threat in controlled spaces at public beaches in Australia." Journal of Law and Medicine. 20 (2), pp. 363-379.
Reflexive professionals or disempowered technicians? A case study of the risks of McLearning in a regional law school
Crowley-Cyr, Lynda. 2008. "Reflexive professionals or disempowered technicians? A case study of the risks of McLearning in a regional law school." Journal of the Australasian Law Teachers Association. 1 (1/2), pp. 299-311.
Homelessness, mental illness and the state: an endless crisis of suffering and exclusion
Crowley-Cyr, Lynda. 2010. Homelessness, mental illness and the state: an endless crisis of suffering and exclusion. Saarbruchen, Germany. VDM Verlag Dr. Muller.