Teaching legal ethics: what, how and why: Ensenar etica juridica: que, como y cuando

Donald Nicolson

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This article argues that legal ethics should form part of compulsory legal education in order both as part of a general legal education and in order to properly prepare lawyers for the ethical demands of practice. Then, drawing on moral theory, moral psychology and an empirical study of law students, this article looks at what should be taught and how. More specifically, it highlights the failings of a conventional, ‘rule-based’ approach to ethics instruction, and the insufficiencies of a cognitive method, calling ultimately for ethics instruction to develop students’ moral character through a combination of ethics teaching, experience in dealing with actual cases through student law clinics and reflection on such experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-190
Number of pages19
JournalRevista De Educacion Y Derecho - Education and Law Review
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2009


  • law clinics
  • ethics
  • cognitive
  • character approaches
  • legal education

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