Paul L. Caron
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Friday, May 3, 2024

Kuehn: The Fallacy Of 'We Can't Afford More Clinical Legal Education For Our Students'

Robert R. Kuehn (Washington University; Google Scholar), The Fallacy of 'We Can't Afford More Clinical Legal Education for Our Students', 32 Clin. Legal Educ. Ass’n Newsl. ___ (2024):

CLEAPrevious proposals by the ABA and state bar authorities to require more experiential training for law students have met with objections from some legal educators that mandating more experiential coursework, especially law clinics, would impose large costs on schools that would have to be passed on to students. Yet analysis of data from the 2022-23 academic year demonstrates that law schools can provide all their students with enhanced clinical training, including a mandated law clinic experience, without having to increase the tuition students pay.

Of eighty regression models estimating the relationship between sixteen independent variables on law clinic, field placement, and simulation course availability or participation and five different scenarios of the net tuition students pay, only sixteen showed a statistically significant relationship between course availability or student participation and net tuition. Every statistically significant relationship was negative, indicating that as law clinic, field placement, or simulation course availability or student participation increased, estimated average net tuition decreased. Even independent variables that include more law clinic slots available for or filled by students were either inversely related to net tuition or not statistically significant. The results show that the decision whether to provide a robust practice-based legal education that includes a live-client law clinic experience should be made on the merits of the question, not on fallacious claims about the cost to students of more clinical legal education.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2024/05/kuehn-the-fallacy-of-we-cant-afford-more-clinical-legal-education-for-our-students.html

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