The University of Akron School of Law Distinguished Lecture Series


The Law School’s goal is to produce practice-ready professionals who are prepared to succeed in a competitive legal market. While students receive a top-notch education in the classroom, gain hands-on legal training, and learn to exercise sound legal judgment, many students want more professional development opportunities and training during their time in law school. Employers have also expressed their enthusiasm for a program that provides more opportunities for future lawyers to develop their professional identities. And, with the adoption of Standard 303(b)(3), law schools now must provide substantial professional development opportunities to students. Professionalism training includes but is not limited to, the knowledge, skills, values, morals, goals, and personality traits considered foundational to successful legal practice.

To foster student professional development and to meet accreditation requirements, the faculty has adopted a mandatory twelve (12) credit Professionalism Training graduation requirement, which became effective in fall 2023. With this program, students will have frequent opportunities to develop their professional identity, starting in the first year. These opportunities will be varied across the curriculum and in co-curricular and professional identity formation activities as the development of a professional identity requires student reflection and growth over time.

The Law School’s Professionalism curriculum will consist of workshops, speakers, individual counseling meetings, networking events, seminars, and training curated for this program. Some suggested topics include business aspects of practice; client engagement and relationship building; cultural competency; networking skills; building a personal and professional brand; practical legal writing skills; professional ethics; technology for lawyers; and job search strategies. The faculty and administration will track each student’s progress and participation and will have oversight of the program.


J.D. students beginning in Summer 2023 and thereafter are required to complete a minimum of twelve (12) hours of professional development training prior to graduation. Our program is similar to continuing legal education (CLE) requirements for practicing lawyers. For students graduating in December, your hours must be completed and reported by November 1 of your graduation year. For students graduating in May, your hours must be completed and reported by April 1 of your graduation year.


Below is a list of offerings that meet the Professionalism Program criteria, including the number of hours you will receive for participation. We encourage you to attend a combination of lectures, panels, networking events, and skills-based experiences to make the most of this Program and to enhance your professional development.

Spring 2024 Offerings

CLE - WDo or Do Not: Become an AI-Solo or Small Firm Sage
Registration is required (free for students):

Tuesday, February 13, 2024
9:00 AM - 1:15 PM
Akron Bar Association

Max. of 3 hours
Client Correspondence Workshop with Prof. Oldfield, Dean O’Brien, and Dean Costigan

Wednesday, February 14, 2024
Noon - 1:00 PM
Akron Law – Legal Writing Suite

1 Hour
Government and Public Interest Career Fair

Thursday, March 14, 2024
3:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Akron Law – Veterans’ Lounge

1 Hour
Federal Bar Association Networking Event
RSVP required to Katia

Wednesday, March 20, 2024
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Akron Law – McDowell Common

1 Hour
Ninth District Court of Appeals Oral Arguments and Q&A with Judges

Thursday, April 11, 2024
Time TBA
Akron Law – Brennan Courtroom

Max. of 2 Hours
Miller Becker Center Spring Lecture

Friday, April 12, 2024
Noon – 1:00 PM
Akron Law – Brennan Courtroom

1 Hour
Constitutional Law Center Lecture: Women as Constitution Makers
RSVP to Katia

April 2024
Akron Law – Brennan Courtroom

1 Hour

The above list is not exhaustive, and we invite you to seek other opportunities. To seek credit approval for a program or event not listed here, you must submit a request at least one (1) week prior to the date of the event or program. The Professionalism Committee will timely review all requests.

We will periodically post additional offerings eligible for Professionalism credit, so be sure to monitor this page and your email.

Because the Professionalism Program must be met as a condition for graduation, it is important to keep up with your hours and to maintain a record of your attendance. Additionally, like the Community Service/Pro Bono Requirement, students will register for a 0-credit Professionalism course in their final semester to ensure this graduation requirement is reflected on their transcript.


For programs listed herein, and held at Akron Law or co-hosted by Akron Law, you will scan your student I.D. or sign-in upon arrival and your attendance will be noted and tracked. If you leave a program prior to the scheduled end time, you must sign-out and will receive credit only for your time attended.

For external programs and events, for which you have received approval, you must self-report your attendance and hours on Symplicity.

For reporting activities on Symplicity: Log in to your account. Select Pathways. Select the Professionalism Program. Click Start. Follow the instructions listed under Report.