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School of Law

Students confront ethical issues head-on in divorce simulation
First-year Elon law students take part in the Travis Simulation, Jan. 3What's fair game when negotiating a settlement? Where do the interests of the client and the ethical practice of law collide, and how should lawyers handle situations where the difference between right and wrong is gray and uncertain?

First-year Elon law students are getting a taste of the ethical dilemmas they are certain to face as future lawyers during the Travis Simulation, Jan. 3-4. Developed by Columbia Law School faculty teaching a Profession of Law course, the simulation aims to demonstrate the challenges of utilizing ethical principles in the practice of law. The simulation is co-sponsored by the N.C. Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism; executive director Mel Wright introduced the simulation and welcomed students.

The simulation presents the divorce case of a fictitious couple, Millie and Carter Travis. In groups of 10 to 12, the students act as law firms that represent either the wife or the husband. Each firm meets to identify issues, plan negotiations, and to interview the client in an effort to draft a separation agreement for the couple. Throughout the simulation, students confront ethical situations and learn to explore where they will draw the line when it comes to advancing their client's interests. 

Ten local attorneys have volunteered their time to work with the students, facilitating discussions, observing negotiation sessions and helping students reflect on their actions during the simulation:

    • Carole Albright
    • Elaine Ashley
    • Steve Crihfield
    • John Flynn
    • Barbara Morgenstern
    • Mark Peck
    • Michelle Reingold
    • Eric Richardson
    • Stanley Speckhard
    • Robin Stinson