An Interdisciplinary Approach to Professional Identity Formation

Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2022, 4:00 – 5:15 PM ET

Webinar Description: The AALS Section on Balance in Legal Education General Programming Committee is excited to present a six-part “Speed-Idea Sharing Series” on Incorporating the New ABA Standards on Professional Identity, Cross-Cultural Competency, and Well-Being Resources for Students.  Each session will feature a collection of brief presentations highlighting different approaches for incorporating the new standards, followed by Q&A and conversation. Session 4 will focus specifically on what legal education can learn from other disciplines as we help students develop their professional identity.


Learning Objectives:

Participants will leave this session with ideas for how to help law students learn resilience as part of their professional identity by drawing from other professions, such as social work and counseling.  Other disciplines can help law students develop skills to be trauma-informed lawyers and to engage in practices for their own self-care, particularly when working in emotionally challenging practice areas.


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Laurel Rigertas, Professor of Law, Northern Illinois University College of Law

Professor Laurel Rigertas joined the NIU law faculty in 2006. She teaches professional responsibility, torts, advanced torts and a mindfulness course for law students. Professor Rigertas’ research and scholarship focuses on the legal profession, particularly in the areas of ethics, professionalism, the unauthorized practice of law, and access to the legal system. She served as the College of Law’s Interim Dean during the 2019-2020 academic year.

Prior to joining the NIU law faculty in 2006, Professor Rigertas practiced complex commercial litigation as a partner with Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in Chicago, which she joined in 1999 as an associate. She has litigated cases at the trial and appellate levels in both federal and state courts, as well as in arbitrations and mediations. Professor Rigertas began her law career in 1997 at Jenner & Block in Chicago, where she also focused on complex commercial litigation. Prior to joining the NIU law faculty she also taught as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law and Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Professor Rigertas graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1997. There she was a member of the honorary scholastic society, Order of the Coif, and served as articles editor of Law & Inequality: A Journal of Theory and Practice.



Miriam Itzkowitz, Director of Trauma-Informed Care for the Institute to Transform Child Protection, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Preparing Resilient Attorneys through Interdisciplinary Practice

Miriam Itzkowitz is the Director of Trauma-Informed Care for the Institute for Children, Families and Communities at Mitchell Hamline School of Law. In her role she develops and implements trauma-informed education and programming in the child welfare system. She also serves as the social work supervisor in the Child Protection Clinic working with graduate social work students to link theory and practice and to serve the clients represented in the Child Protection Clinic. Miriam’s clinical experience is in counseling adults and adolescents in clinical, home, and school settings. In her work at her private practice, Miriam use an eclectic approach to individual, couples, and group therapy, incorporating cognitive, creative and holistic techniques to assist clients in sustaining authentic identities, coping with difficulties and overcoming trauma. Miriam is also an adjunct faculty member at the University of St. Thomas School of Social Work.

Miriam received her BA from Grinnell College and her MSW from the University of Minnesota School of Social Work.



Jordi Goodman, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor, BU/MIT Technology Law Clinic

Seeing is Believing: Developing Student Speaking Opportunities at MIT

Jordana Goodman (’15) returns to Boston University School of Law as the visiting clinical assistant professor of the BU/MIT Technology Law Clinic. She supervises BU Law students offering pro bono legal guidance to BU and MIT students on topics affecting their research and innovation.

Her research focuses on gender and race equity issues in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (“STEM”), concentrating on intellectual property ownership and recognition as advancement tools for systemically underrepresented people in STEM fields.

Before joining the clinic, Jordana worked as a patent prosecutor at Danielson Legal LLC, where she composed patent applications, PCTs, and office action responses for technologies related to medication, batteries, molecules, filtration devices, mechanical devices, computer systems, software, and computer hardware. She was also an adjunct legal research and writing professor at New England Law.

Jordana was a Paul J. Liacos Distinguished Scholar and graduated cum laude from Boston University School of Law with honors in Intellectual Property Law in 2015. She received her B.S. magna cum laude in Chemistry and Anthropology from Brandeis University in 2012 and her M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2020. She is admitted to practice before the United States Patent & Trademark Office and admitted to practice in Massachusetts.



Jordana Confino, Senior Director of Professionalism; Adjunct Professor of Law, Fordham Law School

Leveraging Cross-Departmental Collaboration to Build Upper-Year Professionalism Curriculum

As the Senior Director of Professionalism & Special Projects, Jordana oversees all aspects of the Professionalism Office’s work, including the 1L house system and the Law School’s wellness, professionalism, and peer mentorship offerings. Jordana also serves as an Adjunct Professor of Law, teaching Positive Lawyering and Peer Mentoring & Leadership. She was voted Fordham Law Adjunct Professor of the Year in 2021.

Prior to joining Fordham, Jordana served as the Assistant Director of Academic Counseling, Acting Clerkship Advisor, and a Lecturer in Law at Columbia Law School. Jordana previously clerked for the Honorable Robert D. Sack on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and for the Honorable Paul A. Engelmayer on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Jordana is an expert in lawyer and law student mental health and well-being. She serves as as Co-Chair of the General Programming Committee of the American Association of Law Schools Section on Balance in Legal Education, and as a member of the Law School Assistance Committee of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, the ABA Attorney Well-Being Committee, and the NYC Bar Association Mindfulness & Well-Being in Law Committee. Jordana earned a Certification in Applied Positive Psychology from the New York Open Center in 2018



Joan Foley, Kermit Gitenstein Distinguished Professor of Health Law and Policy & Professor of Legal Process, Touro Law Center

Professional Identity Formation Through Interdisciplinary Learning

Professor Foley teaches Health Care Law, Legal Process, Legal and Ethics Issues in Medical Malpractice, and American Trial Courts – Theory and Practice in the Federal Courts. Professor Foley received her legal education at the New York University School of Law, graduating in 1995. After law school, she joined the firm of Gordon Thomas Honeywell LLP. From 2000 through 2006, Professor Foley was a partner of that firm in Seattle, Washington. Her practice focused on health law, complex litigation, appellate litigation, and environmental litigation. Professor Foley represented clients in a wide range of cases, including reimbursement litigation, product liability, personal injury, defense litigation, utilities law, and class actions. Professor Foley joined the faculty at the University of Washington School of Law in 2007. There, she taught first-year and upper division legal writing courses. Throughout her legal career, Professor Foley has served on a number of boards of professional and non-profit organizations. Professor Foley is Board Member of the Federal Bar Association – Eastern District of New York Chapter Board. She is as an Executive Committee Member of the Association of American Law Schools – Aging and the Law Section. Professor Foley is a Steering Committee Member of the Laurel Rubin Farm Worker Justice Project. Professor Foley’s distinctions include being recognized in Law & Politics Magazine as a “Rising Star of Washington Law” and being named a Chapter Member of the Year by Washington Women Lawyers.



Rosario Lozada, Professor of Legal Skills & Values; Director, Well-Being in Law, Florida Law

Professional Identity and Well-Being Practices

Professor Lozada serves as director of Well-Being in Law and teaches Legal Skills and Values, Professional Identity and Well-Being Practices, Professional Responsibility, and Mindfulness and the Law (forthcoming 2022-2023 academic year). With the Office of Student Services, she co-developed Well-Being at FIU, which received the 2021 Gambrell Professionalism Award administered by the ABA Standing Committee on Professionalism. In 2021, Professor Lozada received FIU’s Torch Award, which recognizes an individual who exemplifies FIU’s institutional values of truth, freedom, respect, responsibility, and excellence by exhibiting the highest standards of character and ethical behavior.

Professor Lozada is a faculty fellow with the University’s Office of Faculty Leadership & Success.  She serves on the University’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Education Committee and frequently collaborates with an interdisciplinary faculty workgroup to foster Contemplative Practices in Education at the Center for the Advancement of Teaching (CAT).  With CAT, Professor Lozada has led and co-facilitated faculty reading groups on social change, racial justice, and mindfulness.

Engaged in well-being and leadership initiatives nationally and locally, Professor Lozada served as 2021 Chair of the AALS Section on Balance and Well-Being in Legal Education and continues to serve on the section’s Executive Committee. She participates in leadership programming for the Association of Legal Writing Directors and offers continuing legal education workshops on well-being and mindfulness.

Professor Lozada graduated magna cum laude graduate from Notre Dame Law School, where she attended as a McCafferty Scholar and received the Distinguished Graduate Student Award for excellence in academics and service.  She clerked for the late Edward B. Davis, former Chief Judge of the Southern District of Florida.  Subsequently, as a Skadden Arps Public Interest Fellow, she represented low-wage immigrant workers in South Florida on issues ranging from wage and hour abuse to civil rights violations.

Professor Lozada trained with UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior.  She is certified as a professional mindfulness teacher by the International Mindfulness Teachers Association.

Born in Miraflores, Perú, Lozada is a native Spanish speaker.



Kelli Simpson, Senior Instructional Designer/DEI Support, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Community of Practice

Kelli Simpson has been an instructional designer at Mitchell Hamline since 2021. She was an elementary educator for ten years with specific focus on environmental education, personalized learning, and culturally responsive teaching practices. Kelli has a variety of experience curating and implementing digital learning and professional development for educators. Kelli received her Bachelor’s of Science in biology from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Master’s of Arts in teaching from Hamline University.




Rick Petry, Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

Community of Practice

Rick Petry currently serves as assistant director of career and professional development. Rick leads Mitchell Hamline’s initiative to have as many students as possible complete a Legal Residency—a semester working full time at a firm, business, courthouse, or other legal setting prior to graduation. In addition to be an assistant director of career and professional development, Rick also serves as an adjunct professor teaching torts and advance litigation skills. Rick is also an author and expert in human performance excellence, leadership development, and helping organizations develop high performing cultures.

Rick joined Mitchell Hamline after representing individuals and companies for nearly 20 years in criminal defense, personal injury, commercial litigation, and real estate matters as a trial attorney.