1.1: Introduction to the Course


During your study on this course, you will get the opportunity to learn about the importance of character and virtues in the legal profession. The course is grounded in the moral theory of virtue ethics, which promotes the importance of personal character and virtues for making the right decisions, at the right time, in the right amount, in the right place and with the right people. It focuses, in particular, on one central concept of virtue ethics – phronesis. Phronesis, often translated as practical wisdom, is the virtue professionals should seek to develop to help them become ethical practitioners.

To encourage reflection and active learning, you are encouraged to use the specifically designed discussion boards as you work your way through the course. The discussion boards provide a forum for you to discuss your thoughts with fellow learners; sometimes to complete the activities, and sometimes to discuss the activities you may have done in class. It is important to understand the need to treat discussion with others with respect.  Please read the Discussion Board Guidelines about using the discussion boards before proceeding.

You will be reminded at different stages of this course to join the discussion boards where you see the icon below. You may find it useful to refer to the below questions at these points of reflection:


You can also find the discussion boards homepage here, with each activity linked to the specific blog post.  Please join the discussion boards by clicking the above icon and share your answers to these questions with your fellow learners.

Watch this short film in which Dr. Binish Khatoon, Research Fellow at the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, explains the course structure. The film will help you understand the content of the course and help you plan your learning journey.

In Unit 1: Introduction you will:

In Unit 2: Character in Law you will:

In Unit 3: Reflection you will:

Download the presentation below to gain a comprehensive overview of the course, as well as the research which underpins it.


Between 2012 and 2015, the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues carried out research to deepen understanding of the place of virtues and values in initial education, training and subsequent professional practice in the legal profession in the UK. The Virtuous Character for the Practice of Law report presents the findings and key recommendations from the research.