Friday, July 20, 2018
- ABA Journal, Can law students improve contracts drafted by accomplished lawyers?
- Jill Engle (Penn St.), Strength in Small Numbers
- Forbes, When the Numbers Don't Add Up: Vermont Law School's Tenured Faculty Purge and What It Portends
- Brian Larson (Texas A & M), Law's Enterprise: Argumentation Schemes & Legal Analogy
- Jim Levy (Nova SE), Westlaw unveils new legal research tool incorporating Artificial Intelligence capabilities
- Sue Liemer (Elon), Embodied Legal Education: Incorporating Another Part of Bloom's Taxonomy
- James McGrath (Texas A&M) & Andrew P. Morriss (Texas A&M), Assessments All the Way Down
- UCI Law Launches a New, Innovative Graduate Tax Program
Comment: A few days ago, my co-blogger at the Legal Skills Prof Blog, Jim Levy posted a piece on how much college students study: Studies show college students don't study nearly enough and 1/3 study less than 1 hour a day. His post states, "Academically Adrift, says that U.S. undergraduate education is "failing and declining" because students are not studying nearly enough. He cites several studies that show students are spending on average only 12-13 hours per week prepping for classes which is about half of what students used to spend in 1960 by way of comparison. And a third of college students spend less than an hour studying per day. Yikes. Dean Arum lays part of the blame at faculty for failing to sufficiently inspire students." Jim continues, "Why does this matter to readers of this blog? Because legal educators should be concerned about the studying habits of incoming law students at a time when bar pass rates are hitting all time lows (here, here and here). If the trend identified by Dean Arum holds, it does not portend well for law schools."
Jim's post troubles me. Many college and law students hold the notion that they are passive receptacles of knowledge from their professors, but this is not true. As education researchers demonstrate again and again, learning is hard. This is especially true for law students who must learn a complex field in three years. Students must go back to the traditional wisdom that they need to study three hours for every class hour. This means that, if a student is taking 15 credits a semester, that student should study 45 hours a week. There are simply no shortcuts to attaining success. In addition, law schools should teach their students better study habits, so that their studying is efficient. (here)