The final version of my article, “Insights from Psychology: Teaching Behavioral Legal Ethics as a Core Element of Professional Responsibility,” has been published in the Michigan State Law Review. It is available here.
The field of behavioral legal ethics—which draws on a large body of empirical research to explore how subtle and often unconscious psychological factors influence ethical decision-making by lawyers—has gained significant attention recently, including by many scholars who have called for a pedagogy that incorporates behavioral lessons into the professional responsibility curriculum. This Article provides one of the first comprehensive accounts of how law teachers can meet this challenge. Based on an approach that employs a variety of experiential techniques to immerse students in the contextual and emotional aspects of legal practice, it provides a detailed model of how to teach legal ethics from a behavioral perspective. Reflections on the approach, including the encouraging response expressed by students to this interdisciplinary method of instruction, are also discussed.