Paul L. Caron

Friday, April 17, 2020

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

Article of the week:  Adam Lamparello, The Flaws of Implicit Bias -- and the Need for Empirical Research in Legal Scholarship and in Legal Education.  I choose this article as article of the week not because it demonstrates the flaws in implicit bias theory, but because it shows the need for critical thinking by legal scholars in evaluating theories from other fields.  The article declares, "Empirical research methods and statistics should be incorporated into legal scholarship and the law school curriculum, preferably in the legal writing curriculum. . . .  Law students (and legal scholars) should be more like social scientists. They should learn to conduct empirical research and to distinguish between credible and flawed empirical research, (particularly regarding methodological flaws) because doing [so] is imperative to making persuasive and credible arguments. After all, how can lawyers be effective social justice advocates if they are not well-versed in social science research? Moreover, the legal writing classroom is an appropriate environment in which to teach empirical research and statistical methods because it is where students learn how to research, write, communicate, and formulate persuasive arguments. Ultimately, that should be the goal of legal education."

In other words, law professors need to adopt an evidence based mindset for legal scholarship and use the proper critical tools for their area of study.

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