46 A.B.A. J. 1110 (1960)
Education for Professional Responsibility: The National Council on Legal Clinics

handle is hein.journals/abaj46 and id is 1112 raw text is: Education for Professional Responsibility:
The National Council on Legal Clinics
Mr. Sacks outlines the plans of the National Council on Legal
Clinics for a different approach to the problem of education for pro-
fessional responsibility in the law schools. Pointing out that the Coun-
cil's definition of professional responsibility is a broad one, he
outlines the opportunities for challenging participation in the work of
the Council.
by Howard R. Sacks - Administrator of the National Council on Legal Clinics

THERE IS TODAY widespread con-
cern in the legal profession about edu-
cating law students for professional
responsibility, but much remains to be
done in determining just how this dif-
ficult task can be effectively under-
taken. The newly formed National
Council on Legal Clinics hopes to be
able to make a significant contribution
in this area of legal education. Armed
with a grant of $800,000 from the Ford
Foundation, the Council is embarking
on a seven-year project designed to dis-
cover and try out new and better meth-
ods of educating law students about
their future role as members of a pro-
fession. The Council will make grants
to approximately twelve law schools
and some smaller grants to individuals
and will place primary (though not ex-
clusive) emphasis upon the develop-
ment of clinical and internship, as con-
trasted with classroom, training in pro-
fessional responsibility. The Council's
approach to education for professional
responsibility will be different. It there.
fore hopes to secure participation in its
projects not only from those already
interested in the field, but also from
among that substantial group of law
teachers who have heretofore been un-
interested because of serious doubts
about the effectiveness of such edu-
cation. The Council's approach is char.
acterized as different because its con.
ceptions of both professional respon-

sibility and of clinical and internship
training are much broader than those
often associated with these terms. For
this reason, the work of the Council
should appeal to all those concerned
about whether legal education is ade-
quately preparing students for the
broader aspects of their future careers.
To begin with, the term profes-
sional responsibility, as used by the
Council, is not limited to questions of
legal ethics. Instead, it is defined to
include the duty to engage in collective
action and co-operation with    other
proessiors and community institutions
where the interests of client or com-
munity require such action. Thus, in
addition to improving competence in
such areas as client counseling, the
lawyer must develop an understanding
of the role of certain social institutions
such as the family court, the youth
board and the modern social agency,
and of such professional disciplines as
psychiatry and social work. Profes-
sional responsibility is also used to
include the lawyer's obligation to aid
in law reform; to secure adequate rep.
resentation of the indigent in both civil
and criminal cases; to participate in
the work of the organized Bar; and to
act as a guardian of the principle of
due process in our society. Further,
it includes the responsibility of the
lawyer for community service, such as
membership on educational and char-

itable boards. It also includes the re-
sponsibility of the lawyer for partici-
pation in public affairs, whether as a
public official in an executive, legisla-
tive, legal or judicial capacity, or as
a thoughtful leader of community
opinion and action.
Why the Concern About
Professional Responsibility?
Why the concern about the lawyer's
professional responsibility? Are the
moral and ethical standards of lawyers
as reflected in their dealings with their
clients and others lower today than
they were in earlier periods? Are they
low as compared with other professions
or as measured against some absolute
standard of professionalism? Or is the
problem more one of the larger role
of the lawyer as law reformer, com-
munity leader and public servant? If
so, is the problem one of the quantity
of lawyer participation in these activi-
ties or the quality of such participa-
tion ? There is no unanimity of opinion
as to these and other questions about
the status of the legal profession today.
But there does appear to be substantial
agreement that all is not well in the
legal profession, and that more should
be done in the law schools to impress
the oncoming generation of lawyers
with their responsibilities as members
of a profession. And there likewise
appears to be a large measure of agree-

1110    American Bar Association Journal

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