Students’ presentation of self

Clinic gives law students an opportunity to begin to develop their professional identities.  This work begins from the first moment the student meets a client and carries on throughout the representation.  Each student will have certain tendencies in this presentation of self, and it falls to clinical faculty to help students reflect upon their natural inclinations and the persona they wish to present. This paper utilizes a data set of forty student-client consultations that were recorded and transcribed. It uses conversation analysis to study the approaches students take in presenting themselves to clients in a “brief advice” clinic.  Interestingly, these students are volunteers supervised by pro bono attorneys and are not enrolled in clinic.  As a result, their presentations of themselves are largely untutored portraits.  The paper mines this rich data to understand not only the inclinations of these students but also how faculty can best guide and assist these students to reflect upon professional identity in relation with clients.

Student's presentation of self [.ppt]