Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2011 Law School Survey of Student Engagement

LSSEThe Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) has released its 2011 Annual Survey Results:

The selected results reported in this section are based on responses from more than 33,000 law students at 95 law schools in the U.S. and Canada who completed LSSSE in spring 2011. We also draw upon responses to a set of experimental questions appended to the survey and given to a subset of the 2011 respondents.

The results presented in this report represent just a small sampling of the information LSSSE collects each year. In addition to the three themes featured on the following pages, LSSSE data let us learn more about how certain law school programs, practices, and curricular efforts relate to student success and student engagement; changes in the law school experience from year to year; how various types of students experience law school; and much more. These findings can yield important lessons about the law school experience writ large, and, at the school-level, about the experiences of students in the classroom and the wider school environment. Below, we highlight just a few results to provide a better idea of the breadth of issues that LSSSE data can inform.

Promising Findings:

  • The vast majority of students rated their overall law school experience favorably; 83% reported that their experience in law school was good or excellent.
  • Eighty percent of students said that they definitely or probably would attend the same law school if they could start over again.
  • Students with high levels of law school-related debt more often used and were satisfied with career support at their law school. Of students who expected to owe more than $80,000 in law school-related debt after graduating, 64% used and were satisfied with job search support, and 84% used and were satisfied with career counseling at their school. ...

Disappointing Findings:

  • Forty percent of law students felt that their legal education had so far contributed only some or very little to their acquisition of job- or work-related knowledge and skills.
  • Twenty-three percent of law students who expected to accrue more than $80,000 of law school-related debt reported that they would not or probably would not attend the same law school if given the opportunity to start over.

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Most of the questions reflecting in the above findings seem inappropriate to ask of current students rather than graduates a few years removed. Current students don't yet know anything about the employment situation that awaits them and the quality of that situation would heavily influence the answer to these questions.

Posted by: Steven | Jan 10, 2012 4:22:57 PM