Why A Day Spent on Professionalism and Ethics was a Day Wasted

It is with great disbelief that upper years look at a 1L who complains about a mere two days (one day per term) of professionalism and ethics training. But will that stop this 1L? Most definitely not.

We get it, you had to suffer a full week of professionalism and ethics training in lieu of a Reading Week. That does suck a whole lot more than a measly two days of training. But why should those be the only two options? How about scrapping the so called ‘training’ altogether?

I use the word ‘training’ quite loosely because, well I dare you to find a single person who came out of those training sessions feeling professionally and ethically informed. Go ahead. I’ll wait…

I’m not sure how rigorous the training was last year, but let me attempt to explain how useless the training was this year. This training amounted to letting a few legal professionals talk to the 1L class, followed by a group break-out session where we discussed hypotheticals with more legal professionals, followed by an opportunity for Dean Moran to tell us about herself and her work with the residential schools. Needless to say, this took place on a Friday. Oooh the joy!

Kudos to the law school for trying to lure the 1Ls into attendance with the promise of free food. And who can really afford to pass on free food? Not the Class of 2016 with their $30k/tuition. Aside from the ‘brown bag lunches,’ I got nothing out of that training (and I again dare you to find a 1L who did). Most of what was mentioned in the lectures was either common sense or irrelevant. I did not learn anything new. It was basically a lecture. I was not ‘trained’ in any sense of the word. I never found any of it compelling or engaging, and I doubt it was trying to be either. Don’t get me started on the ‘assignments’ relating to this ‘training.’ You could do them without attending the event, as I’m sure most 1Ls realized or have realized in retrospect.

The readings we were supposed to have read for the training days? Yeah, I never did them. Not because there were three different and lengthy documents to read, though that would be a valid reason, but because 1Ls don’t have the time. I barely have the time to read the course readings I have to! And after attending the training, I’m glad I never invested the time to read them. Even not having read them and zoning out for most of the time, I still got the gist of it. Be professional. Be ethical. Did that really need an entire two days to be instilled in me?