Holloran Center Summer Workshops

The Holloran Center has sponsored five workshops over the last three summers, welcoming nearly 100 faculty and staff from over 20 law schools who have come together to talk about available research on pedagogies to foster professional formation and to work on individual and institutional plans to integrate professional formation more fully into classrooms and curricula.

The workshops have been a tremendous opportunity to build community and to reflect, as individuals and as institutional teams, on how best to proceed with greater integration of professional formation into the specific context of each of our classrooms and schools. We also focus on how a student who has internalized the competencies of professional formation will have higher probabilities of success in finding meaningful employment.

Learn more about these Summer Workshops on this site.

The overall objective of the workshops from 2013-2018 is to foster the growth of a critical mass at thirty or more law schools of at least four fulltime faculty or staff committed to increasing their school's emphasis in the curriculum, culture, and pedagogy on each student's professional formation. This would create a field and a spearhead for much wider change in this direction for legal education. Success at creating a field and spearhead in legal education will be a model for similar efforts in M.B.A. education.

Workshop Objectives for Each Participant and Each Law School Team:

1. Understanding the empirical data, including the competency models that legal employers are using to evaluate new lawyers, on the importance of each student's professional formation in law school
2. Understand the role of culture and "the hidden curriculum" within law school with respect to each student's professional formation
3.  Learn about curriculum, culture, and pedagogies that are empirically shown to be most effective across higher education for the profession in fostering professional formation
4.  Identify specific factors at each school that may positively or negatively affect each student's professional formation
5.  Prepare an individual action plan to enhance professional formation in courses each participant teaches
6.  Prepare a law school action plan to foster positive change in law school curriculum and culture toward the professional formation of each student
7.  Consider mechanisms for assessing progress
8.  Discuss the elements of a strategic plan to change the paradigm of legal education generally toward professional formation including what empirical research, conferences, conference panels or steps would be the most useful

The setting, the people, the structure, the integration of the readings, the conversations, the sessions of working with different individuals in varying groups, were one of the most important experiences I have had in any workshop setting. It was inspiring, it was practical, it was just great. I hope that you continue to bring deans, faculty and administrators together to move forward. What an important way to give meaning to those who attend and try to advance the depth of the experience for students and for members of the profession.

- Hannah R. Arterian, Dean of Syracuse University School of Law (2002-15)


The scholarship and workshops initiated by the Holloran Center over the past three years have been the leading spark that is igniting a national professional formation movement to reform legal education in America.

-Danny DeWalt, Associate Dean, Administration & Leadership Development and Director, Parris Institute for Professional Formation, Pepperdine University School of Law


 The Holloran Center Workshops are walking down Main Street in terms of the profession's interest in helping each student and practicing lawyer develop a deep ethic of service to others.

-Paul Haskins, Senior Counsel, Center for Professional Responsibility and Editor of the PROFESSIONAL LAWYER. American Bar Association.


This workshop was absolutely outstanding! I plan to encourage all of my colleagues at my law school to participate in future workshops.

-Julie Ernst, Assistant Professor of Law, University of North Dakota School of Law


 This workshop was a terrific opportunity to collaborate with faculty and staff from around the country who care deeply about helping students with the formation of their professional identities, career planning and professional development skills. The opportunity to learn about what other schools are doing in an environment facilitated by experts like Neil and Jerry was invaluable.

-Eric Bono, Assistant Dean for Career Opportunities. University of Denver, Strum College of Law 


This workshop prompted deep reflection on modern legal education in a setting of profound candor, trust, and community. It impressed upon me both the urgency and the possibility of seriously engaging students about the formation of their professional identity.

-Mitt Regan, Co-Director, Center for the Study of the Legal Profession, McDevitt Professor of Jurisprudence, Georgetown Law

Between 2013 and 2015, twenty-three schools have sent teams to th eholloran Center Professional Identity Formation Workshopd. Thirteen of those schools have sent a second team. Below is a list of participants schools.






Georgia State*




Loyola New Orleans*


New Hampshire

North Dakota

New Mexico*

Notre Dame*


Penn State Dickenson



South Carolina


Washington and Lee

St. Thomas

*Denotes that a school has sent or will send an additional team summer 2016