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Teaching Legal Ethics UK Workshop




The workshop is an initiative of City Law School's Centre for the Study of Legal Professional Practice - Legal Ethics Forum.

Speakers: Nigel Duncan, Tony King, Caroline Gibby, Keren Bright and Michael Holdsworth

Free event, but places are limited; so booking is essential.


09.30:    Coffee and networking. Welcome and introductions, by Nigel Duncan.

10.00:    "Funding the Teaching Legal Ethics Community" - brainstorming session led by Nigel Duncan and Tony King.

11.00:    Coffee break

11.15:    "Developing the International Forum for Teaching Legal Ethics and Professionalism" led by Nigel Duncan

12.30:    Sandwich Lunch

13.30:    "Ethics and the Paralegal: legal education for level 3 students" led by Caroline Gibby

14.15     "Swearing oaths... professionally: Using the judicial oath as a lens for considering oaths for barristers, solicitors and law students" led by Keren Bright

15.00:    Tea break

15.30:    "Virtuous Character for the Practice of Law" led by Michael Holdsworth

17.00     Close

Those who have attended these workshops previously will know that a social event is usually organised in association with the workshop. An early-evening meal is planned at a nearby restaurant, however please kindly note that we are unable to cover the costs for this, so attendees are required to pay for their own meal. Please indicate on the application form if you are able to join us.

Workshop details:

Funding the Teaching Legal Ethics Community - Nigel Duncan and Tony King

Since the demise of the UKCLE and the reduction of the HEA's funding capacity support for activities such as ours is hard to find. This session will initially brainstorm funding approaches, considering where the most pressing need for financial support is, where it might best be sought (the Foundation for Legal Education being an obvious, but not the only potential source) and the arguments that might maximise the chance of successful bids.

Developing the International Forum for Teaching Legal Ethics and Professionalism - Nigel Duncan

This session will brainstorm the development of the International Forum website (  It has recently gained more resources on it including being the main repository for ILEC papers and sessions. We have improved the methods of navigating it but we are conscious that the tags (keywords) need to be rethought and this is one focus for us. We plan to develop a formal Editorial Board, with individuals as editors around specific topics (such as teaching approaches like 'simulation' or substantive topics like 'conflict of interests' etc.) Your help with this (and expressions of interest) would be welcome.

Ethics and the Paralegal: legal education for level 3 students - Caroline Gibby

As part of the level 3 Diploma in Paralegal Practice Legal ethics for paralegals is taught as a separate module, there is an outcomes based summative assessment, which addresses practical and practice related skills, which an everyday paralegal might face. The importance to paralegals within a professional environment relate to the application of the SRA guidelines, which also bind paralegals. We use a PBL thread in the teaching of the programme with the firms (group of 3 students) already aware of their role and the code of conduct, which binds them.
The students who take the course are those who are interested in a career as a paralegal and have chosen to take the level 3 programme instead of A levels, for many the main reason is the practical nature of the course. However, with this comes issues as the students can range from16 to 46 each with diverse life experiences and so have different understandings about personal ethical conduct, ethics in the work place (for most this is a part time day job whilst at school or college) and ethics within a professional environment. As result this module serves as an opportunity to develop emotional maturity and understanding in a personal as well as practice based domain.
This workshop reflects a typical example of the scenarios and the issues, which are considered along with the practical application of ethics which students, are required to address as part of the assessment process. As we move on to the other modules such as civil litigation, criminal procedure, employment and conveyancing a similar thread is applied in the workshop activities.

Swearing oaths... professionally: Using the judicial oath as a lens for considering oaths for barristers, solicitors and ... law students - Keren Bright

There has been discussion and debate about whether solicitors and barristers in the UK should swear oaths. There are some law schools (notably perhaps in the USA) where law students swear oaths.
This session will start by using the judicial oath as a lens for considering oaths for barristers, solicitors and law students.

  • The judicial oath of England, Wales and Scotland (and Northern Ireland) Its ambit and meaning, by reference to 'The Guide to Judicial Conduct 2013'
  • Whether it is possible to map the categories of judicial misconduct, as defined in the annual reports of the Judicial Conduct Investigations Office, onto the judicial oath.
There will be group work and plenary reporting exploring use of these ideas with students.

Virtuous Character for the Practice of Law - Michael Holdsworth

A workshop drawing upon the method and findings of Birmingham University's Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues report entitled 'Virtuous Character for the Practice of Law'. In an interactive session, it will draw upon the study's approach to examining (1) personal and 'ideal' lawyer character strengths and (2) reasoning in ethical dilemmas to examine their utility and limitations as teaching tools.

Each delegate will receive a copy of the report.  The methodology and findings would be discussed briefly using a powerpoint presentation.  Thereafter, the session will be wholly interactive.

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When & where

9.30am - 5.00pmFriday 20th March 2015

Princeton Street City, University of London 2-10 Princeton Street London WC1R 4BH United Kingdom

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