Friday, January 4, 2019
Here is my annual list of the Best Legal Education articles.
- Bernard A. Burk (formerly North Carolina), Jerome M. Organ (St. Thomas) & Emma Rasiel (Duke), Competitive Coping Strategies in the American Legal Academy: An Empirical Study
- Larry Cunningham (St. John's), Building a Culture of Assessment in Law Schools
- Neil Hamilton (St. Thomas), Leadership of Self: Each Student Taking Ownership Over Continuous Professional Development/Self-Directed Learning
- Gerald Hess (Gonzaga), Michael Hunter Schwartz (Dean, McGeorge) & Nancy Levit (UMKC), Fifty Ways to Promote Teaching and Learning
- Lucy Jewell (Tennessee), Silencing Discipline in Legal Education
- Peter A. Joy (Washington University), The Uneasy History of Experiential Education in U.S. Law Schools
- Jeffrey Kinsler (Belmont) & David L. Hudson, Jr. (Belmont), The Secret to 85% First-Time Bar Passage Rates
- Harold Anthony Lloyd (Wake Forest), Why Legal Writing is 'Doctrinal' and More Importantly Profound
- Serge Martinez (New Mexico), Why are We Doing this? Cognitive Science and Nondirective Supervision in Clinical Teaching
- Daniel Schwarcz (Minnesota) and Dion Farganis (law clerk), The Impact of Individualized Feedback on Law Student Performance
- Tina L. Stark (Independent), Transactional Skills Education: Mandated by the ABA Standards
- Eli Wald (Denver), The Contextual Problem of Law Schools
Article of the Year: Neil Hamilton (St. Thomas), Leadership of Self: Each Student Taking Ownership Over Continuous Professional Development/Self-Directed Learning
"This article focuses on leadership of self and a commitment to continuous professional development as a foundational sub-competency of leadership. Scholarship on self-directed learning and self-regulated learning provides substantial insight into this foundational sub-competency. The article explores how a student’s commitment to continuous professional development demonstrates the competencies of initiative and ownership that legal employers want. The article analyzes how a shift of responsibility for driving the educational process from the teacher (the faculty and staff) to the learners would be extremely beneficial to the students, faculty and staff, legal employers, clients, and the legal system. The final section of the article analyzes what we know about effective curriculum to foster each student’s growth to later stages of a commitment to continuous professional development. Schools that lead in implementing these steps will differentiate themselves in terms of outcomes for students."
As I have said many times before, a law school's most important goal should be to turn out self-directed learners.
Most important Blog Posts Of the Year: Deborah Merritt (Ohio St.), But Can They Read Cases?; Mike Madison, For a New Year: An Invitation Regarding Law, Legal Education, and Imagining the Future.
News Stories of the Year: Florida International University's continuing success on the Florida bar exam (here); Inside Higher Ed, In-Class Cellphone And Laptop Use Lowers Exam Scores.
Comment: I published a new book on legal education in 2018: How To Grow A Lawyer: A Guide for Law Schools, Law Professors, and Law Students (2018). You can download a sample chapter from SSRN.
If you have a favorite legal education article or post from last year that I didn't mention, please feel free to add it to the comments.