Document Type


Publication Date



This essay considers the role of empathy and humility in the professional practices of physicians and lawyers and in those who prepare students for these professions. Beginning with an overview of the goals and methods of legal education, it compares similar goals in medical education and the value of practicing law (and medicine) with empathy and humility. The essay then describes exercises used in the law school classroom designed both to teach law students about end-of-life law and also to allow them to practice counseling clients. Through these exercises, law students can experience firsthand the challenges of advising a client in the process of advance care planning in a way that includes both an explanation of relevant laws and forms and the broader context in which advance care decisions are made.

Recommended Citation

Barbara A. Noah, Teaching Bioethics: The Role of Empathy & Humility in the Teaching and Practice of Law, 28 HEALTH MATRIX 201 (2018).