It is a central axiom of this Article that the good lawyer is a virtuous lawyer and that the possession and exercise of virtue is central to the lawyer's professional character and professional identity. The Article is therefore resonant with the school of "virtue jurisprudence" according to which the behavior of legal actors such as judges and lawyers and the ends of law pursued by legislators should be concerned with the development and exercise of virtues such as courage, honesty, integrity, wisdom, temperance, and, of course, justice as central to a life of human flourishing. It is also resonant with the contentions of those scholars who have written about the virtues of the good lawyer, whether or not these scholars would formally subscribe to or self-identify as adherents of the school of virtue jurisprudence as such. I seek to complement this corpus by exploring the question: But how do lawyers actually develop and exercise virtue, including the "master virtue" of practical wisdom? This is a particularly timely question as law schools across the country work to implement new American Bar Association (ABA) law school accreditation standards, requiring that they articulate explicit learning outcomes for students' acquisition of knowledge, skills, and values and devise meaningful formative and summative assessment measures of these outcomes, both for the institution as a whole and for individual courses. However, it is also a big question and I do not seek to answer it definitively in this Article. Instead, I seek to stimulate conversation by offering a provisional answer and by situating the question and my attempt to answer it within a broader framework that asks a bigger question: "How do professionals develop and exercise virtue?" Moreover, this bigger question in turn is part of an even bigger question: "How do humans develop and exercise virtue?" ...
Part I addresses the development, or perhaps more accurately the further development, and exercise of those virtues that are fundamental prerequisites for successfully entering and sustaining any professional practice, including legal practice; Part II explores the nature of professional practical wisdom, including lawyerly practical wisdom, providing a schematic account of its central features or elements and how they relate to more particular attributes, including virtues; and Part III identifies and describes various pedagogical approaches and specific pedagogies that serve to develop particular lawyerly virtues, more general intellectual and moral virtues, and lawyerly practical wisdom in law students, also drawing comparisons with professional education in other fields.
Mark L. Jones, Developing Virtue and Practical Wisdom in the Legal Profession and Beyond, 68 Mercer L. Rev. 833 (2017).