About the Holloran Center
The Holloran Center’s mission is to provide innovative interdisciplinary research, curriculum development, and programs focusing holistically on the formation of both students and practicing professionals into ethical leaders in their communities.
In fulfilling the mission, the Holloran Center seeks to address the most compelling ethical issue facing education in the professions and business: How can higher education most effectively foster the ethical professional formation of each student and practicing professional?
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, based on multi-year empirical studies of higher education for clergy, lawyers, engineers, nurses, physicians, and business majors finds that “In every field we studied, we concluded that the most overlooked aspect of professional preparation was the formation of a professional identity with a moral core of responsibility around which the habits of mind and practice could be organized.” (Carnegie 2010). Ethical leadership in the professions rests on a foundation of an ethical professional identity.
The Holloran Center's research flows from a growing body of scholarship and empirical studies on the formation of an ethical professional identity in the professions and business. This research shows that an ethical professional identity based less on short-term self-interest and more on awareness of and responsibility for the consequences of one’s decisions for others is not simply a matter of personality, innate traits, or virtues learned in childhood. Higher education can help each student to form an ethical professional identity with a moral core of responsibility for and service to others.
The Center seeks to change the existing paradigm and culture both of graduate education in the professions and business and among practicing professionals to learn from and contribute to this developing body of research across the professions. Holloran Center professors and research fellows provide national leadership on empirical research to assess which pedagogies are most effective to help students with ethical professional formation that is the foundation of ethical leadership.
The Holloran Center is one of 13 national centers in law schools devoted to ethics and professionalism that is recognized by the American Bar Association's (ABA) Center for Professional Responsibility. The Center’s national impact continues to increase. John Berry, former chair of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Professionalism Committee and past-winner of the ABA’s highest award, the Michael Franck Award for Professionalism, recently commented on the work of the Center:
The Holloran Center’s greatest contribution is in uniting the best of legal research and analysis with a real down-to-earth desire to find ways to impact the legal profession and its lawyer participants in a positive way.
The research conducted by the Holloran Center is the most important that can be done for the future of our profession. It matters little if we have smarter and more skilled lawyers if we do not find a way to also make sure they are ethical and motivated in all they do with a well-formed professional identity and orientation toward service. The Holloran Center is leading the way.