Review the case examples corresponding to your specialization below Responding to Ethical and Legal Issues – Case Study, and then elect an ethical decision-making model. To aid in selection, first review pages 14–17 of the Ethical, Legal, and Professional Issues in Counseling text and the unit readings. You can also choose an ethical decision-making model from a current, peer-reviewed article in a professional counseling journal of your choice. Some examples include “A Practitioner’s Guide to Ethical Decision Making” (Forester-Miller & Davis, 2016) and the Intercultural Model (Luke, Goodrich, & Gilbride, 2013)

  • Analyze the effectiveness of the selected decision-making model and provide an example of how it might be used to resolve legal or ethical dilemmas when working with students or clients from diverse backgrounds.
  • Utilize your chosen decision-making model to the case you reviewed. If you were the counselor working with this case, discuss how you would apply each step of the ethical decision-making model you have selected to respond effectively to these legal and ethical issues.
    • Include specific examples to illustrate the actions you would take at each step.
    • Include the specific ethical standards and state laws that you would consult when determining your response to the situation. How would these laws and standards influence the choices you might make in responding to the situation?
    • Describe how you would demonstrate developmental and cultural sensitivity when addressing the legal and ethical issues presented. Use specific examples to illustrate your ideas.
  • Explain how your personal values and beliefs impact your understanding of the situation and the choices you might make when deciding how to respond to the legal and ethical issues that may arise in working with the client or student.
    • Include at least two examples of specific values and beliefs you hold that may influence your reactions to this case and the actions you may take.
    • Present at least two specific strategies that you will develop to address the influence that your personal values and beliefs may have on ethical decision making with clients or students.

Submission Requirements

Your paper should meet the following requirements:

  • Written communication: Develop accurate written communication and thoughts that convey the overall goals of the assignment and do not detract from the overall message. Your paper should demonstrate graduate-level writing skills.
  • References: Your reference list must include at least six sources. You must use current APA style to list your references. Refer to the APA Style and Format for more information.
  • Number of pages: The length of your paper should be 8–10 double-spaced pages. Note: Page count does not include cover page or references.
  • Formatting: Use current APA formatting, including correct in-text citations, proper punctuation, double-spacing throughout, proper headings and subheadings, no skipped lines before headings and subheadings, proper paragraph and block indentation, no bolding, and no bullets. Refer to the APA Style and Format for more information.


Marty is a 10-year-old boy whose family moved to the United States from South America two years ago. Marty’s father was promoted to a new job, so Marty needed to transfer to a different school in the middle of the year. Marty is having a difficult time making this transition. He is small for his age and has a speech impairment that can make it challenging for others to understand him. Marty is not confident in social situations and has not had an easy time developing relationships with others in his class. He usually spends his time alone during recess and lunch and he’s reluctant to join in class projects or discussions.

Over the past few weeks Marty has become more withdrawn. He does not respond to his teacher’s encouragement to participate in class and has not been completing his school assignments. On one occasion, the teacher found that Marty had been drawing graphic pictures of people being injured throughout his notebook. Yesterday, Marty was seen sitting alone on the playground scratching his skin with a safety pin. His marks were superficial, but the behavior was concerning enough to ask the school counselor to meet with Marty.

During the counseling session, Marty discloses that he is being bullied by several boys at the school. They have taken his lunch money, ripped up his notebooks, and punched him in the back and stomach. The boys have warned Marty if he tells anyone, they will break into his house and hurt his little sister, so he refuses to identify them.

Marty also reveals that he had a similar problem at his previous school where an older boy bullied him repeatedly for several months and, on two occasions, grabbed Marty’s genitals in a manner that made Marty very uncomfortable. Marty has never told anyone about this and is terrified that his parents, teachers and other students will find out. He breaks into tears and begs his counselor to keep everything he’s said a secret.

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