What role, skills, and ethics should legal professionals have in order to contribute meaningfully to the challenges of contemporary societies? How should universities prepare students for their future roles as lawyers, judges, or legal scholars?
In her inaugural lecture, Elaine Mak discusses the origin and the emergence of the T-shaped lawyer perspective, which has become a prominent topic of debate in law schools and legal practice. She demonstrates how organisational demands for public management reform and a societal demand for digitalisation and globalisation have prompted an emphasis on technological awareness, interdisciplinary skills, and social responsiveness of legal professionals. Based on a critical analysis, Mak argues that contemporary legal education should encompass three main elements: differentiation to allow for generalists, specialists, and interdisciplinary legal professionals; Bildung to develop a critical view on the legal professional’s role; and training aimed at handling professional ethical dilemmas.