Creating the Whole Lawyer Through
Transformative Learning in Law School
As the old adage goes, “law school teaches you to think like a lawyer.”
Those who have attended law school tend to have strong feelings in sup-
port or in opposition. What does it mean to think like a lawyer? How is it
that law schools teach students to think?
Perhaps the greatest question of all is whether law schools are teaching
students to practice law in a way that achieves not only the result that the
client seeks but leaves both the client and the lawyer content and emotion-
ally fulfilled. In a time where the legal profession continues to be perceived
badly in the eyes of the public, while lawyers themselves struggle with ca-
reer satisfaction, law schools must teach law students how to make legal
practice fulfilling for lawyers and their clients alike.
This essay argues that transformative learning theory can be used in law
schools to train lawyers to develop frames of reference that permit a more