Professional Identity Formation: Meet Our Instructors!

February 10, 2023

Video Transcript

Speaker: Megan Bess, A Legacy of Knowledge: Learning from Supervision

Please introduce yourself and the course you are teaching for the program.

Megan Bess: Hello, My name is Megan Bess. I'm on the faculty and I direct the extension program at UI - C Law in Chicago. And the course I'm teaching is called "A Legacy of Knowledge: Learning from Supervision."

In your view, why is the professional identity formation process important to law students?

Megan Bess: Professional Identity Formation is really important for law students because it's key to understanding who you are as a person and how that translates into who you are as a lawyer. It's a really powerful process as you go through the transformation from student to lawyer.

Hop into the time machine! What would you like to tell yourself, the law student, about the journey from law school to legal professional?

Megan Bess: Oh, if I could go back and tell myself as a law student really anything about the journey from law student to lawyer, it's that it might not always look the way that you think it's going to. The journey isn't always as linear or clear, step by step, as you think it's going to be. And really, some of the most profound lessons as to what it means to be a lawyer on that - that transition in that path, come from unexpected sources.

What advice do you have for students who may be hesitant to start working on their professional identity?

Megan Bess: The thing about professional identity formation is that it's a process that happens anyway: you're going to transition from being a law student or novice to being a legal professional. So if it's going to happen anyway, why not prepare yourself and be intentional about the journey? So you really can sort of guide yourself and better understand both yourself and the role that you're stepping into as a lawyer.

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