The role of a Law Student Pledge in shaping positive professional and ethical identities: a case study from Australia
Law Student Oaths, Honour Codes and Pledges have been variously used as a way to communicate and regulate standards of law student behaviour and to inculcate them into the ethical and professional values and attitudes seen as important for future legal professionals, such as a commitment to honesty and integrity. Variations of Oaths, Codes and Pledges are used extensively in America and in many other parts of the world. However, they have never really featured in the Australian university landscape. This article reports on the introduction of a Law Student Pledge as part of the first year law experience at the University of Wollongong (UOW) in New South Wales, Australia. Through focus groups held with students, feedback from first year teaching staff, and through a practice of collaborative review, this article reports on the impact, benefits and challenges of introducing the Pledge at UOW, as well as the research team's learnings and the future development of the Pledge.