The STEPPS Program focuses on the development of professional identity. Professional identity starts with an awareness of oneself—the personal experiences, characteristics, preferences and biases that are unique to each individual. The goal of the STEPPS Program is not to create cookie-cutter lawyers—we don’t have one size to fit all. Instead, we help each student to find and follow a particular career path.
Part of the process comes from exposing the second-year student to different types of lawyer roles. For example, some students enter second year with a deeply held belief that they want to be litigators. After preparing a motion for summary judgment (along with all of the exhibits), and after being exposed for the first time to the transactional process of drafting an agreement, they see with clarity that they would prefer a transactional path. For others, the opposite occurs. Frequently, a soft-spoken student will find a strong voice in the safe environment of the STEPPS Program, releasing the inner litigator.
Concepts of professional identity are woven throughout the curriculum, including: