April 17th, 2016 / By

In a forthcoming article, I discuss the ethical duty that professionals have to educate new members of their profession. The ancient Hippocratic oath recognized this duty, commanding all physicians “to give a share of precepts and oral instruction and all the other learning . . . to pupils who have signed the covenant.” Contemporary versions of the oath enforce a similar obligation, while moral and economic principles support the existence of this duty.

Surprisingly, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct do not recognize this duty among lawyers. This is a worrisome flaw. Without an established duty to educate new lawyers, our profession cannot effectively serve clients. Nor can we justify our status as professionals. Professions are communities rather than mere occupations–and an essential feature of those communities is their commitment to ongoing education.


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