Paul L. Caron
Dean




Friday, July 23, 2021

Minimizing The Impact Of Cognitive Bias In Transactional Legal Education

Alina Ball (UC-Hastings), Minimizing the Impact of Cognitive Bias in Transactional Legal Education, 52 Conn. L. Rev. 1139 (2021):

This Article explores methods law professors can employ to address the cognitive biases their law students possess. This Article provides concrete thoughts on how transactional law clinics can utilize the social, political, and neuroscience research included in this symposium edition. 

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July 23, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Designing Innovative Clinical Legal Programs To Respond To Changing Social Needs

Atsushi Shiraki (Hawaii; Google Scholar), Designing Innovative Clinical Legal Programs to Respond to Changing Social Needs, 39 Waseda Bull. of Comp. L. 57 (2021):

My argument is that Japanese law schools are urged to flexibly design innovative clinical programs to respond to changing social needs so as to maximize the educational effect for law students. As globalization progresses and technological innovations advance, our world is becoming more complex, unstable, and unpredictable. In this era, people in economic needs are more susceptible to uncertainty. They are more likely to confront unexpected hardship and less likely to afford to retain their attorney even if required.

Some countries have their national legal aid programs in operation under their national statutes. This type of system is relatively rigid and less flexible, and sometimes not good at addressing new types of legal problems. For example, in Japan, we have a national legal aid program, Hoterasu, funded by the government. The targeted fields of the program are fixed by the law and other national regulations. On March 11, 2011, an unprecedented huge earthquake and tsunami hit the northern part of Japan, and many of the victims fell into utmost difficulties for the needs, including legal aids right after the disaster. However, Ho-terasu was not able to expand its services for a free legal consultation to those people affected by this disaster until after April 2012 because it took time to amend the relevant laws. In addition to this, although arbitration is now acknowledged as an effective alternative dispute resolution in Japan, people who hope to use arbitration cannot rely on the program of Ho-terasu. As these examples show, the Japanese national legal aid system is not yet perfect. On the other hand, clinical legal education is free from restrictions of national regulations. This trait should be recognized as one of the hallmarks of legal clinics. Clinical legal programs have inherently the potential to be designed for a more flexible platform to dramatically improve access to justice for socially vulnerable people. Throughout this article, I will explore what type of clinical legal programs are truly needed in our changing society, focusing on the flexibility of clinical legal education. Creating client interest-oriented programs also maximizes student learning outcomes in clinical legal education. Students’ motivation for their participation is maximized, and they can obtain basic legal skills required as a legal professional in the most effective manner, especially when a law student can feel the importance of herself and necessity as a legal professional.

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July 23, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Professor As Institutional Entrepreneur

Roger P. Alford (Notre Dame), The Professor as Institutional Entrepreneur, 47 Pepp. L. Rev. 269 (2020):

Law professors are all about ideas, and the creation of an institute, clinic, or center within a law school is the instantiation of an idea. Ideas embodied in law school institutions become crystallized in the fabric of a school, changing its culture, internalizing its values, and reflecting its priorities. Robert Cochran has helped to establish multiple institutes, centers, and clinics at Pepperdine Caruso Law School, and in so doing he has become the law school’s great serial entrepreneur. The institutes Cochran helped to establish have become laboratories to give expression to his ideas about the relationship between faith, ethics, and the law.

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July 22, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Understanding The Metacognitive "Space" And Its Implications For Law Students' Learning

Jennifer Gundlach (Hofstra) & Jessica Santangelo (Hofstra), Understanding the Metacognitive "Space" and Its Implications for Law Students' Learning:

This article builds upon our prior work, contributing to the growing literature addressing development of metacognitive skills in law students. Metacognitive skills include knowledge of strategies that impact thinking and learning, and regulation of thinking and learning related to specific learning tasks. Metacognitive skills are important for learning in law school as well as for successful lawyering.

Herein we describe an empirical study of first-year law students that addresses four primary research questions:

(1) What level of metacognitive knowledge and regulation do law students demonstrate when they enter law school?
(2) Do law students’ metacognitive knowledge and regulation change during the first semester of law school?
(3) Is there a relationship between law students’ academic performance and metacognitive knowledge and regulation?
(4) Does instructional intervention impact law students’ metacognitive knowledge and regulation?

In addressing these questions, we refined the qualitative instruments from our prior study to better capture the interplay between metacognitive knowledge and regulation. In so doing, a metacognitive “space” emerged that provides a visual tool for other researchers interested in assessing student metacognitive skills. We posit that the metacognitive “space” may further serve as a tool for instructors to promote development of metacognitive skills in students, and for students to self-reflect and intentionally regulate their learning.

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July 22, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Varona: Envisioning And Executing The Fourth National People Of Color Legal Scholarship Conference — The Largest Ever Gathering Of Minority Law Scholars

Anthony Varona (Miami), Communion: Envisioning and Executing the Fourth National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference — The Largest Ever Gathering of Minority Law Scholars, 55 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 761 (2020):

Harvard Civil RightsThis article was written in honor of the Fourth National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference, held at the American University Washington College of Law in 2019. It reviews the landmarks in the history and development of the National People of Color Legal Scholarship Conference. Considering the spread of racism and xenophobia across the country, the importance of this conference and its contributions to increasing diversity in the legal academy and legal scholarship as a whole cannot be understated. The article discusses efforts and strategies in envisioning, planning, and executing the fourth national conference.

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July 22, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Dear 1L: Five Guideposts For Your Future Professional Practice

Thomas Stipanowich (Pepperdine; Google Scholar) & Lela P. Love (Cardozo), Dear 1L: Five Guideposts for Your Future Professional Practice, 22 Cardozo Online J. Conflict Resol. 529 (2021):

Professors Love and Stipanowich address first year law students on the threshold of their career. Being an effective practitioner requires much more than a grounding in substantive law, legal research and writing, and (perhaps) trial advocacy. Law students today also need a broader range of knowledge and skills to prepare for the varying and evolving challenges of twenty-first century practice. Love and Stipanowich offer a number of precepts for 1L students to consider as guideposts for their career.

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July 21, 2021 in Legal Ed News, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Monday, July 19, 2021

Ryan: Law Student Debt And Career Choices

CJ Ryan (Roger Williams), Paying for Law School: Law Student Loan Indebtedness and Career Choices, 2021 U. Ill. L. Rev. 97 (2021):

Student loan debt has reached crisis levels, topping $1.64 trillion dollars this year and surpassing credit card debt to become the second largest source of debt held by Americans. When discussing student loan debt, it is easy to fixate on the aggregate impact of the burdens this debt places on taxpayers, the economy, and borrowers alike, such as the depressive effects that student loan debt has on marriage, homeownership, and entrepreneurship. Yet, a discussion of which graduates are saddled with the largest student loans and how their debt obligations impacts their career choices is often absent from conversations about student debt and has been understudied to date. This Article contributes to the discourse about student loan debt and its potentially negative externalities by investigating responses from an original survey administered at four law schools, revealing novel findings about law students’ expected debt loads, career choices, and intentions to participate in the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.

In Part I of this Article, the student loan crisis is more closely examined with particular emphasis on its salience for law school graduates. In addition, the first part of this Article provides credible descriptive evidence that rates and amounts of borrowing to attend law school impact law students differentially on the basis of their endowed characteristics, such as race and parental education.

Ryan 0

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July 19, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Cultural (Re)Turn: The Case For Teaching Culturally Responsive Lawyering

L. Danielle Tully (Brooklyn), The Cultural (Re)Turn: The Case for Teaching Culturally Responsive Lawyering, 16 Stan. J. C.R. & C.L. 201 (2020):

Recent changes to the American Bar Association’s (ABA) accreditation standards require law schools to adopt learning outcomes that demonstrate competencies for legal practice and to measure progress toward this goal. Absent from the new requirements, however, is any mention of “culture.” Instead, “cultural competence” is included as an optional skill, which law schools may choose to identify and measure (or not). But culture is anything but optional. In light of contributions from psychology and cognitive science, and calls from the bench and bar, law schools can no longer avoid including culture in meaningful, sustained, and integrated instruction throughout the curriculum. Building on critical legal scholarship and the movement to foster cross-cultural lawyering competencies in clinical education, this article proposes culturally responsive lawyering as a new orienting framework for legal education and for law practice. 

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July 15, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Preventing Attrition: Critical Interventions To Close The Racial Gap In Not Transfer-Attrition

Allie Robbins (CUNY; Google Scholar), Preventing Attrition: Critical Interventions to Close the Racial Gap in Non-Transfer Attrition, 26 Widener L. Rev. 143 (2020):

Law schools are losing students of color to non-transfer attrition at a rate nearly 19% higher than that of white students. This racial disparity is unacceptable, and law schools must take concrete steps to eliminate it. In order to do so, law schools will have to take action both inside and outside of the classroom. Faculty must be more directly engaged in the teaching of metacognitive and academic skills. Student Affairs Offices must work with Academic Affairs Offices to develop programs that foster and sense of belonging, and assist students with navigating the challenges of law schools. Finally, the entire law school community must work to address the mental health and substance abuse issues that are far too prevalent in the legal academy and the legal profession. It is only by treating each student as an individual capable of growth and academic success, that law schools will be able to close the attrition gap.

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July 15, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Getting A Lawyer While Black: A Field Experiment

Brian Libgober (UC-San Diego; Google Scholar), Getting a Lawyer While Black: A Field Experiment, 24 Lewis & Clark L. Rev. 53 (2020):

In this Article, I present new evidence that African-Americans face unique impediments in obtaining access to counsel. Using a randomized audit design, I show that those with black-sounding names receive only half the responses of those with white-sounding names regarding requests for legal representation. I design a larger, follow-up experiment to evaluate variations on the theory of “statistical discrimination,” that lawyers are merely responding to economically-relevant signals correlated with race. I find no evidence supporting the expectations of the statistical discrimination theory, but some evidence that racial preferences matter. I conclude by presenting a more nuanced theory of racialized service rationing that is consistent with the body of experimental evidence presented and is supported by observational data. I discuss the implications of these theories for potential policy responses, including debates about affirmative action and the size of the legal profession.

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July 15, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Let's Talk About The Boteros: Law, Memory, And The Torture Memos At Berkeley Law

Laurel E. Fletcher (UC-Berkeley; Google Scholar), Let's Talk about the Boteros: Law, Memory, and the Torture Memos at Berkeley Law, 38 Berkeley J. Int'l L. 1 (2020):

What parts of their uncomfortable associations should universities remember, and how? Berkeley Law is revisiting an ongoing question about its link to the War on Terror: how should the school should address its relationship to the Torture Memos of the Bush Administration in light of its employment of one of the Memos’ principal authors, Professor John Yoo? The dean of Berkeley Law is considering whether to remove paintings by the world-famous artist Fernando Botero. The paintings, currently on prominent display inside Berkeley Law, depict US soldiers torturing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison.

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July 14, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Fall 2021 Law Review Article Submission Guide

SubmissionsNancy Levit (UMKC) & Allen Rostron (UMKC) have updated their incredibly useful document, which contains two charts for the Fall 2021 submission season covering the 196 main journals of each law school.

The first chart (pp. 1-56) contains information gathered from the journals’ websites on:

  • Methods for submitting an article (such as by e-mail, regular mail, or Scholastica—   ExpressO has shut down its submission service for law reviews )
  • Any special formatting requirements
  • How to request an expedited review
  • How to withdraw an article after it has been accepted for publication elsewhere

The second chart (pp. 57-64) contains the ranking of the law reviews and their schools under six measures:

  • U.S. News: Overall Rank
  • U.S. News: Peer Reputation Rating
  • U.S. News: Judge/Lawyer Reputation Rating
  • Washington & Lee Citation Ranking
  • Washington & Lee Impact Factor
  • Washington & Lee Combined Rating

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July 14, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Saturday, July 10, 2021

Los Angeles Law Firms Before And After Recessions

LA Cover

James J. Park (UCLA), Los Angeles Law Firms Before and After Recessions:

Major recessions often prompt significant changes at large law firms. This report studies Los Angeles firms over the past forty years to assess the impact of recessions on the Los Angeles legal market. It tracks the number of lawyers working in the Los Angeles offices of a sample of national law firms (half founded in Los Angeles and half founded outside of Los Angeles) over three recessions. It concludes that significant reductions in the attorneys employed by law firm offices after a recession largely reflect reversals of extraordinary growth prior to the recession. Because Los Angeles law firm offices were not expanding prior to 2020, the impact of the 2020 recession on the number of lawyers employed by national firms in Los Angeles may be modest.

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July 10, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Lawsky: Teaching Algorithms And Algorithms For Teaching

Sarah Lawsky (Northwestern; Google Scholar), Teaching Algorithms and Algorithms for Teaching, 24 Fla. Tax Rev. ___ (2021):

Florida Tax Review (2021)This Article focuses on what it calls the “algorithm method,” a common method used to teach tax classes that presents students with unambiguous problems that guide students through complex statutes and regulations. The Article describes a novel teaching tool created by the author: a website that randomly generates tax problems with objectively correct answers; multiple choice answers that reflect common errors that students make; and explanations for each answer that either respond to the underlying error or give a full explanation of the correct answer. The Article explains the purpose and use of the website for professors and students, respectively, and proposes approaches to make using the website, and indeed the algorithm method, more effective.

Introduction
Common methods of instruction in the law school classroom include the “case method” and the “problem method,” each of which requires law students to confront difficult and ambiguous problems in law. U.S. law does include many difficult and ambiguous problems. Less recognized is that some U.S. law, including the Internal Revenue Code and its accompanying regulations, is difficult not only because portions of it are ambiguous but also because it consists of complex interlocking rules. Deciphering even the unambiguous parts of these rules is both difficult and critical to the role of the lawyer.

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July 7, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship, Tax, Tax Scholarship, Teaching | Permalink

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Learning Movement Lawyering In Law School

Alexi Freeman (Denver) & Lindsey Webb (Denver), Yes, You Can Learn Movement Lawyering in Law School: Highlights from the Movement Lawyering Lab at Denver Law, 56 How. Hum. & Civ. Rts. L. Rev. 55 (2020):

Denver Logo (2015)This Article describes the Movement Lawyering Lab at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. The Movement Lawyering Lab is an experiential course that exposes students to the philosophy of movement lawyering and provides an opportunity for students to partner directly with national and grassroots organizations. The Movement Lawyering Lab draws from some of the key tenets of clinical legal education and adapts that framework for movement work.

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July 6, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, July 5, 2021

Capers: The Law School As A White Space

I. Bennett Capers (Fordham; Google Scholar), The Law School as a White Space, 106 Minn. L. Rev. ___ (2021):

In this moment when the country is undergoing a racial reckoning, when law schools have pledged to look inward and become anti-racist and truly inclusive, it is past time to acknowledge how law schools function as “white spaces.” For starters, there are the numbers. There is a reason why just a few years ago, The Washington Post ran a headline describing law as “the least diverse profession in the nation.” But the argument goes beyond numbers. This Essay argues that law schools—even law schools at HBCUs— function as white spaces. They are white spaces in what they teach, in how they teach, and even in their architecture.

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July 5, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, July 2, 2021

Weekly Legal Education Roundup

The big legal education news for the past few months is that the Council of the ABA Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar has proposed significant modifications of and additions to Standards 205, 206, 303, 507, and 508.  The second round of comments on these proposals closed earlier this week.  You can find the comments here.  Some of the more interesting comments were by Adam Lamparello, Scott Fruehwald, Yale Law School, CLEA, Various Law Professors.  (Note: the fact that I call them interesting does not mean that I agree with all of them.)  Everyone in legal education should be aware of these proposals because they could produce major changes in legal education.  The Council should next consider these matters in August.

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July 2, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Scott Fruehwald, Weekly Legal Ed Roundup | Permalink

(Re)Counting Facts And Building Equity: Five Arguments For An Increased Emphasis On Storytelling In The Legal Curriculum

Jane Childs (J.D. 2020, Boston University), Note, (Re)Counting Facts and Building Equity: Five Arguments for an Increased Emphasis on Storytelling in the Legal Curriculum, 29 B.U. Pub. Int. L.J. 315 (2020):

Arguments about what should be included in the mandatory curriculum of law school date back to its inception as an institution. Over time, the majority of American law schools (in dialogue with each other at first, and eventually with the American Bar Association (“ABA”) and other professional organizations) have established an institutional curricular norm that nevertheless varies in its details from school to school. It is my contention that intensive training in legal storytelling, whether through a mandatory one or zero credit hour course or through additional instruction on storytelling in first year legal writing courses, would address several current critiques of legal education while also ameliorating the documented negative mental health effects of law school.

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July 2, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Implementation Of The ABA's New Experiential Training Requirement: More Whimper Than Bang

Robert R. Kuehn (Washington Univ; Google Scholar), Implementation of the ABA's New Experiential Training Requirement: More Whimper Than Bang, 29 CLEA Newsl. 10 (2021):

When the American Bar Association adopted a new experiential training requirement in 2014, there was hope it would spur law schools to significantly change the way they prepared students for legal practice. The new six-credit requirement was less than the fifteen credits proposed by some educators and did not include a mandate for a law clinic or externship experience. Nonetheless, the six credits were an improvement over the ABA’s previous “substantial instruction” in professional skills requirement. But data from the first two years of the new six-credit requirement in 2019 and 2020 suggest its effect has been more of a whimper than the bang some hoped for, with little evidence it has spurred legal education to enhance the ability of students to get hands-on training in professional skills.

While some law schools have made important changes to their curriculum, on average, schools have not reported positive changes. The number of law clinic seats available per J.D. student since 2014 is unchanged, and externship placements and seats available in simulation courses have decreased over the six-year period. Similarly, data show that a New York Court of Appeals skills competency standard adopted in 2015 for bar candidates does not appear to have spurred New York’s schools to noticeably enhance their professional skills training of students or to provide more training than schools in states following only the ABA requirement.

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July 1, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Just Compensation: An Empirical Examination Of The Success Of Legal Externships For Pay And Credit

Carolyn Young Larmore (Chapman; Google Scholar), Just Compensation: An Empirical Examination of the Success of Legal Externships for Pay and Credit, 69 Drake L. Rev. __ (2021):

For-credit externships offer law students a much-needed opportunity to experience the “real world” of legal practice, rounding out their legal education in ways not possible through classroom teaching alone. So when the ABA changed its rules to allow students to be compensated for their externships while still earning school credit, some in legal academia were worried. Would highly attractive paid externships come at the cost of diminished interest in unpaid government and non-profit work? Would the work that paid externs would be assigned be of a lesser educational quality than their for-credit only peers? Conjecture and anecdotal evidence abounded.

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June 30, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

LRW Burnout Doesn't Frighten Me

Meredith Stange (Northern Illinois), Burnout Doesn't Frighten Me, 25 L. Writing J. 131 (2021):

This essay addresses the historic concern that Legal Writing professors would "burnout" as a result of the grading the position requires. After 18 years of teaching, the author concludes that while burnout is real, it doesn't come from the grading but from the increased responsibilities these traditionally non-tenured faculty are given.

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June 30, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

The Role Of Lawyers And Law Schools In Fostering Civil Public Debate

Vikram D. Amar (Dean, Illinois) & Jennifer K. Robbennolt (Illinois; Google Scholar), The Role of Lawyers and Law Schools in Fostering Civil Public Debate, 52 Conn. L. Rev. 1093 (2021):

Partisanship can make policy discussion and civil debate difficult. Partisan differences in how facts and policies are understood contribute to the escalation of conflict and a lack of cooperation. Lawyers are not immune from these human tendencies. But good lawyers have, and good law schools teach, values, knowledge, and skills that can aid in fostering and modeling more productive debate and resolution of conflict. Lawyers are trained and socialized to internalize and safeguard the foundational tenets of our constitutional democracy, to uphold the law even when it does not reflect their own individual preferences. The professional rules of conduct encourage lawyers to separate the professional from the personal, and expect that vigorous debate, dissent, and zealous advocacy will be done in a professional manner. Lawyers are taught to think about issues, cases, or arguments from multiple sides and to value rational argument, the primacy of evidence and facts, and neutral processes in which cases are decided on their merits. The nuanced approaches to conflict that are required of lawyers—distinguishing productive and unproductive conflict, both creating and claiming value, and acting as both advisors and advocates—equip lawyers with abilities that help them generate and manage more productive debate.

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June 29, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Friday, June 25, 2021

Feeling And Thinking Like A Lawyer: Cognition, Emotion, And The Practice And Progress Of Law

Susan A. Bandes (DePaul; Google Scholar), Feeling and Thinking Like a Lawyer: Cognition, Emotion, and the Practice and Progress of Law, 89 Fordham L. Rev. 2427 (2021):

Generations of lawyers have been taught that thinking like a lawyer requires putting emotion aside. They are warned, for example, that anger will blind them to the facts as they really are. Yet cognitive science rejects the notion that emotion and reason are autonomous, warring spheres. Recently there has been increasing recognition of the harmful consequences of the narrow conception of “thinking like a lawyer” to lawyers’ well-being, but these consequences are generally portrayed as a necessary trade-off between the well-being of lawyers and the preservation of analytical rigor.

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June 25, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Perceptions Of Online Learning And COVID-19 Countermeasures Among Law Students In A One Year Follow Up Study

Victoria Sutton (Texas Tech; Google Scholar), Perceptions of Online Learning and COVID-19 Countermeasures Among Law Students in a One-year Followup Study:

This is a one-year follow-up study to a May 2020 study, conducted May 2021 about perceptions of law students about the transition to online learning as well as government required pandemic public health measures and their effect on returning to face to face classes.

The trend in preference for online courses is increasing by 17%, despite the fear that burnout or frustration from the COVID-19 transition to online learning for law schools would create a general dislike for online courses. There are still a significant number of students who have difficulty with online learning of as many as 25%. About 72% of the respondents feel safe returning to class with no pandemic precautions, but accommodations should be considered early in the planning stages for the semester for those 15% who still do not feel safe enough to return to the classroom.

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June 24, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

The 'Intellectual Diversity' Crisis That Isn't: Liberal Faculties, Conservative Victims, And The Cynical Effort To Undermine Higher Education For Political Gain

Sean Kammer (South Dakota; Google Scholar), The 'Intellectual Diversity' Crisis that Isn't: Liberal Faculties, Conservative Victims, and the Cynical Effort to Undermine Higher Education for Political Gain, 39 Quinnipiac L. Rev. 149 (2021):

The heated political climate of the past decade has placed higher education squarely under attack at the front lines of the ideological culture wars. Amidst claims that public universities are disproportionately populated by left-leaning faculty with a purported agenda to “indoctrinate” students with liberal thoughts and ideas, several states have considered, and in some cases passed, legislation purportedly aimed at enhancing the “intellectual diversity” of college campuses, including among faculties. Part II of this article places these efforts within a wider historical context, one in which conservatives (and some non-conservatives) have successfully framed universities as failing to foster a robust “marketplace of ideas” in contravention of their core mission, thereby leaving universities and their faculties vulnerable to recent political efforts to undermine academic freedom.

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June 23, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

#Fortheculture: Generation Z And The Future Of Legal Education

Tiffany Atkins (Elon), #Fortheculture: Generation Z and the Future of Legal Education, 26 Mich. J. Race & L.  ___ (2021):

Generation Z, with a birth year between 1995 and 2010, is the most diverse generational cohort in U.S. history and is the largest segment of our population. Gen Zers hold progressive views on social issues and expect diversity and minority representation where they live, work, and learn. American law schools, however, are not known for their diversity, or for being inclusive environments representative of the world around us. This culture of exclusion has led to an unequal legal profession and academy, where less than 10 percent of the population is non-white. As Gen Zers bring their demands for inclusion, and for a legal education that will prepare them to tackle social justice issues head on, they will encounter an entirely different culture—one that is completely at odds with their expectations. This paper adds depth and perspective to the existing literature on Generation Z in legal education by focusing on their social needs and expectations, recognizing them as critical drivers of legal education and reform. To provide Gen Z students with a legal education that will enable them to make a difference for others—a need deeply connected to their motivators and beliefs—law school culture must shift. Reimagining, reconstituting, and reconfiguring legal education to create a culture of inclusion and activism will be essential and necessary. 

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June 23, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Reducing Debt And Increasing Access To The Profession: An Empirical Study Of Graduate Debt At U.S. Law Schools

Scott F. Norberg (Florida Int'l; Google Scholar) & Stephanie J. Garcia (Florida Int'l), Reducing Debt and Increasing Access to the Profession: An Empirical Study of Graduate Debt at U.S. Law Schools: 69 J. Legal Educ. __ (2021):

Legal education in the United States is in crisis because it is so costly and the number of law school graduates has consistently exceeded the number of entry-level law jobs by a wide margin, while starting salaries are low in comparison to student loan debt for most graduates. This article contributes to the work of addressing the current challenges by reporting the results of an empirical study of the nature and scope of law graduate debt across U.S. law schools.

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We focus on findings in two areas. First, the data indicate that the legal education system places a greater financial burden on minority and women students than on non-Hispanic white male students. The cost of attendance, average amount borrowed, percentage of the class that borrowed, and percentage of students paying full tuition are all higher at schools with lower LSAT/UGPA medians and larger percentages of minority and women graduates. Moreover, these schools also report weaker employment outcomes for their graduates.

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June 23, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Moving Toward A Competency-Based Model For Fostering Law Students' Relational Skills

Susan L. Brooks (Drexel), Marjorie A. Silver (Touro), Sarah Fishel (Drexel) & Kellie Wiltsie (Drexel), Moving Toward a Competency-Based Model for Fostering Law Students' Relational Skills, 28 Clinical L. Rev. __ (2022):

Legal education has long been criticized for failing to provide adequate professional training to prepare graduates for legal practice realities. Many sources have lamented the lack of sufficient attention to the range of competencies necessary for law graduates to be effective practitioners and develop a positive professional identity, including those that are intra-personal, such as self-awareness, critical self-reflection, and self-directedness; those that are interpersonal, such as deep and reflective listening, empathy, compassion, cross-cultural communication, and dialogue; and those that engage with the social/systemic dimension of lawyering, such as appreciating the role of multiple identities, implicit bias, privilege and power, and structural racism. For this article, we refer to this entire set of competencies as relational competencies. One notable exception to this sustained critique of legal education has been the field of clinical legal education, including law school clinics and externships.

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June 22, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wellness And Law: Reforming Legal Education To Support Student Wellness

Janet Thompson Jackson (Washburn), Wellness and Law: Reforming Legal Education to Support Student Wellness, 65 How. L. J. __ (2021):

No one goes to law school with the expectation that their mental health and overall well-being will be significantly compromised during those three years. But, for a substantial number of law students, it is. It does not have to be this way.

This is not a typical law review article. It cannot afford to be. Most law students begin law school as reasonably happy and well-adjusted people. We must ask, what is it about law school that contributes to the disproportionate decline in student wellness? The answer to that question is complex because many of the very factors that make good lawyers also contribute to their mental health challenges.

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June 22, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, June 21, 2021

Unentitled: The Power Of Designation In The Legal Academy

Rachel Lopez (Drexel; Google Scholar), Unentitled: The Power of Designation in the Legal Academy, 73 Rutgers L. Rev. 101 (2021):

Last December, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed that questioned whether Dr. Jill Biden should more appropriately be addressed as Madame First Lady, Mrs. Biden, Jill, or even kiddo, characterizing her desire to be called doctor “fraudulent” and a “touch comic.” Many were understandably outraged by the lack of respect afforded to Dr. Biden, which had a distinctly gendered dimension. More recently, after a controversial decision by the University of North Carolina’s board of trustees to deny her tenure, Nikole Hannah-Jones, a Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur “genius grant” winner, was instead appointed as a “Professor of Practice” on a five year fixed term contract. These high-profile examples put in sharp focus what many women of color in the legal academy already know all too well: labels have an innate power to confer or diminish status. This Essay explores the role that titles play in the legal academy and, in particular, their often depreciative consequences for women of color. Drawing from my story, those relayed to me by others, and other empirical evidence, I will show how titles perpetuate stereotypes and entrench existing racial and gender hierarchies in the legal academy, although they appear race- and gender- neutral.

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June 21, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Using Exam Wrappers To Foster Self-Assessment Skills In Law Students

Sarah Schendel (Suffolk), What You Don't Know (Can Hurt You): Using Exam Wrappers to Foster Self-Assessment Skills in Law Students, 40 Pace L. Rev. 154 (2019):

“Where did I go wrong?”

When we fail it’s tempting to forget it and move on. However, reflecting on poor performance and figuring out how to proceed is critical to being a successful student and lawyer. Unfortunately, when students receive a disappointing grade they often lack the ability to understand what went wrong and how to change.

Creating self-regulated learners who can identify what they don't know and make a plan to improve is key to helping students succeed. In order to do so – and in order to produce ethical, productive lawyers – law schools should place a greater emphasis on fostering the skill of self-assessment among students.

I propose exam wrappers as an effective and adaptable tool to strengthen law students’ self-assessment skills.

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June 21, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Saturday, June 19, 2021

Deo: Investigating Pandemic Effects On Legal Academia

The University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law hosts a free online program on Pandemic Effects on Legal Academia: A Discussion With Law School Faculty on Wednesday. June 23 at noon - 3:00 P.M. MDT: 

The session will begin with a presentation by Meera E. Deo on her new national empirical study of law faculty, Pandemic Effects on Legal Academia (PELA) followed by a panel of deans responding with their own personal and institutional experiences. Participants will then have the opportunity to break out into working groups organized around specific topics to brainstorm challenges and potential solutions to the obstacles presented by the earlier presentations.

Preliminary analyses of the PELA study reveal troubling patterns of how the effects of COVID-19 exacerbate previously existing raceXgender barriers documented in Southwestern Law School Professor Meera Deo’s book, Unequal Profession: Race and Gender in Legal Academia. Challenges—which are felt most acutely by mothers and other caregivers, junior scholars, untenured faculty, and women of color—include a lack of time and bandwidth to produce scholarship, the blending of home life with work life, an inability to prioritize one’s own well-being, and significant negative mental health effects. This session provides an opportunity for faculty to learn from the data and brainstorm solutions.

Meera E. Deo (Southwestern), Investigating Pandemic Effects on Legal Academia, 89 Fordham L. Rev. 2467 (2021):

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June 19, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Friday, June 18, 2021

What I Learned About Teaching Law By Being An Art Student

Michael Thomas Colatrella Jr. (Pacific), What I Learned about Teaching Law by Being an Art Student:

This article relates lessons that I learned about teaching law from my time as an art student in an atelier system that are supported by science-based pedagogical best practices. 

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June 18, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Academic Law Libraries And Legal Education: A Primer For Deans And Provosts

Academic Law Libraries Within the Changing Landscape of Legal Education: A Primer for Deans and Provosts (Joan S. Howland (Minnesota), Scott B. Pagel (George Washington) &  Michelle M. Wu (Georgetown) eds., 2020) (2021 Joseph L. Andrews Legal Literature Award):

LibraryIn a world where technology advances appear daily, deans and provosts often have questions about law libraries, their purposes, and whether technological innovations should lead to changes in library spaces, collections, and/or services. This book seeks to answer those questions, which came straight from deans, examining the factors involved in an analysis of what a community needs from their library, and demonstrating why the answer to these questions might vary from library to library.

The commentaries by multiple directors will be useful to highlight different approaches in analysis as well as changing cultures in law libraries. This valuable title will be of help to newer and experienced law library directors, law school deans, and university provosts (where the university has a law school).

Contributors:

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June 17, 2021 in Book Club, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Assessing Affirmative Action's Diversity Rationale: Student-Run Law Reviews

Adam Chilton (Chicago; Google Scholar), Justin Driver (Yale), Jonathan S. Masur (Chicago; Google Scholar) & Kyle Rozema (Washington University; Google Scholar), Assessing Affirmative Action's Diversity Rationale, 122 Colum. L. Rev. ___ (2021):

Columbia Law ReviewEver since Justice Lewis Powell’s concurring opinion in Bakke made diversity in higher education a constitutionally acceptable rationale for affirmative action programs in 1978, the diversity rationale has received vehement criticism from across the ideological spectrum. Critics on the right have argued that efforts to attain diversity will necessarily lead to lower quality results, as “less meritorious” applicants are selected in place of people with ostensibly stronger qualifications. Critics on the left have charged that diversity is a “subterfuge” and an empty formulation. On the diversity rationale’s legitimacy, then, it would seem that there is precious little diversity of thought. In particular, prominent scholars and jurists have frequently cast doubt on the diversity rationale’s empirical foundations, claiming that it is a mere hypothesis, and an implausible, unsupported one at that. This critique has made its way into the pages of the United States Reports, and it threatens the foundations upon which affirmative action rests.

To assess the diversity rationale, we conduct an empirical study of student-run law reviews.

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June 17, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Law Professor’s Desk Reference: A Handbook For Work And Life In The Legal Academy

Jon M. Garon (Nova), Law Professor’s Desk Reference: A Handbook for Work and Life in the Legal Academy (2021):

Law ProfLaw Professor's Desk Reference serves as a how-to guide for faculty members, addressing the everyday issues that shape legal education as well as the growing external social and economic pressures reconceptualizing the study of law. Law school faculty members are expected to be legal scholars, effective teachers, and engaged institutional partners, but the information essential to develop these fundamentals skills has not been published in one single source, until now.

The book provides a foundation to help faculty develop the best practices for student learning and engagement. It provides an important summary of learning outcomes, formative assessment, summative assessment, course design, and the operational mechanics needed to be an effective classroom and online teacher.

The book offers faculty members a roadmap to develop meaningful scholarship with practical advice on how best to create a sustainable scholarly agenda. It explores the role faculty play in shared governance for their institutions. It addresses academic freedom, hiring procedures, tenure, and status issues. It also covers accreditation and various regulations on accessibility, accommodation requirements, Title IX, employment laws, plagiarism, and much more.

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June 16, 2021 in Book Club, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Elephant In The Virtual Law Classroom: Different Perspectives But A Common Loss

Tiffany Perez (Miami), The Elephant in the Virtual Law Classroom: Different Perspectives but a Common Loss:

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, law schools had to pivot to virtual legal education quickly. In the wake of the pandemic, scholars have eagerly written about the dos and don’ts of the virtual law classroom. Although some articles have represented the law students’ perspective and some have represented the law professor’s perspective, none have done both in an attempt to create empathy and bridge the gap between what students’ desire, and what law professors are currently providing, and what good virtual legal education requires. As such, based on several interviews with law professors and students, this Article begins by describing one online Contracts class first from the professor’s point of view and then from the student’s point of view. The professor and students’ different perceptions of the same class are then analogized to John Godfrey Saxe’s poem The Blind Men and the Elephant. Then, using the Kübler-Ross Grief Cycle as a vehicle build empathy and understanding, this article attempts to demonstrate the similarities that exists between students and professors’ feelings about online virtual education, namely that both professors and students alike are avidly grieving a common loss: in-person, Socratic law school days of old.

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June 15, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, June 14, 2021

LSAT Takers And Khan Academy Preparation

Gregory Camilli (LSAC), Kimberly Dustman (LSAC), & Ann Gallagher (LSAC), LSAT Takers and Khan Academy Preparation:

Khan Academy LSAT (2021Free online Law School Admission Test (LSAT) preparation resources from the Law School Admission Council and Khan Academy have been widely utilized by LSAT and LSAT-Flex test takers. In September 2020, nearly 70,000 individuals engaged with Khan Academy’s Official LSAT® Prep platform. The purpose of this study was to examine the potential effects of engagement on actual LSAT performance. Our analyses showed that a higher level of engagement (measured in terms of practice time and number of practice exams taken) was associated with higher performance on the LSAT. These results held not only for the overall population but also across multiple demographic subgroups. The results also showed that the performance of test takers with lower initial practice exam scores was associated with slightly higher LSAT score gains per practice minute, indicating that these students benefitted at least as much as students who scored higher initially.

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June 14, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Eyes Wide Shut: Using Accreditation Regulation To Address The 'Pass-the-Harasser' Problem In Higher Education

Susan Saab Fortney (Texas A&M; Google Scholar) & Theresa Morris (Texas A&M; Google Scholar), Eyes Wide Shut: Using Accreditation Regulation to Address the 'Pass-the-Harasser' Problem in Higher Education, 109 Cal. L. Rev. Online ___ (2021):

The #MeToo Movement cast a spotlight on sexual harassment in various sectors, including higher education. Studies reveal alarming percentages of students reporting that they have been sexually harassed by faculty and administrators. Despite annually devoting hundreds of millions of dollars to addressing sexual harassment and misconduct, nationwide university officials largely take an ostrich approach when hiring faculty and administrators with little or no scrutiny related to their past misconduct. Critics use the term “pass the harasser” or more pejoratively, “pass the trash” to capture the role that institutions play in allowing individuals to change institutions without the new employer learning about the employee’s prior sexual misconduct. This essay examines how and why the pass-the-harasser phenomenon arises and persists in postsecondary institutions, as well as recent changes two university systems and one state have made to deal with the problem. Although these efforts are commendable, experts recognize that the “pass-the-harasser” problem requires concerted action by institutions across the country. 

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June 10, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, June 9, 2021

UC-Irvine Law Review 10th Anniversary Edition

Tenth Anniversary Special Edition, 10 UC Irvine L. Rev. 315-496 (2020):

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June 9, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Formation Without Identity: Avoiding A Wrong Turn In The Professionalism Movement

Eli Wald (Denver), Formation Without Identity: Avoiding a Wrong Turn in the Professionalism Movement, 89 UMKC L. Rev. 685 (2021):

Critics calling for a law school reform agenda centered around integrating skills and formation of professional identity into the mainstream of legal education may have their day. External pressures, including increasingly competitive practice realities, heightened client sophistication, new technologies, rising stratification within the profession, and attorney under- and unemployment are opening the door for policy entrepreneurs to begin the process of reforming legal education.

At this defining moment of its existence, however, the professionalism movement grounded in the 2007 Carnegie report titled Educating Lawyers is at risk of making a mistake that may thwart its compelling agenda. Rather than base their identity formation schema on the actual professional identity of lawyers, Educating Lawyers and its advocates have accepted the abstract professional identity rhetoric of the organized bar as the basis of their model. This abstract rhetoric, impressive and well-rehearsed as it may be, is divorced from the actual identities of lawyers and therefore cannot adequately ground the identity formation of law students.

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June 8, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Inside The Master's Gates: Resources And Tools To Dismantle Racism And Sexism In Higher Education

Susan Ayres (Texas A&M; Google Scholar), Inside the Master's Gates: Resources and Tools to Dismantle Racism and Sexism in Higher Education, 21 J.L. Soc'y 20 (2021):

The spring of 2020 saw waves of protest as police killed people of color. After George Floyd’s death, protests erupted in over 140 cities. The systemic racism exhibited by these killings has been uncontrollable, hopeless, and endless. Our country is facing a national crisis. In response to the police killings, businesses, schools, and communities held diversity workshops across the nation, and businesses and organizations posted antiracism statements. Legislators and City Councils introduced bills and orders to defund police and to limit qualified immunity. As schools prepared for the fall semester, teachers considered ways to incorporate antiracism materials into the curriculum. Drawing on the storytelling movement of Critical Race Theory, this Article discusses tools law professors can use to explore these issues in a safer and more egalitarian classroom setting, including counter-stories, such as those compiled in Claire Millikin’s “Substance of Fire: Gender and Race in the College Classroom.” 

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June 8, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Monday, June 7, 2021

Silver & Green: Technocapital@BigLaw.com

Carole Silver (Northwestern; Google Scholar) & Bruce A. Green (Fordham; Google Scholar), Technocapital@BigLaw.com, 18 Nw. J. L. & Tech. 265 (2021):

The transformative potential of technology in legal practice is well recognized. But wholly apart from how law firms actually use technology is the question of what law firms say about how they use and relate to technology—in particular, how law firms communicate whether technology matters and has value in what they do. In the past, firms in the BigLaw category, especially at the top echelon, have grounded their reputations on the credentials and achievements of their lawyers. In this paper, we explore whether elite law firms use technology similarly by describing it as an additional tool of inter-firm competition—a sort of “technocapital” that wields power in the war for clients, talent, and reputation generally. Based on an in-depth review of the websites of fifty-one nationally recognized and highly ranked law firms, the article analyzes differences in how firms use tech as a means of promoting themselves.

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June 7, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Friday, June 4, 2021

JD-Next: A Valid And Reliable Tool To Predict Diverse Students’ Success In Law School

Cayley Balser, Heidi Burross, Matt Charles, Katherine Cheng, Adriana Cimetta, Jessica Findley, Ran Li, Christopher T. Robertson (Arizona), A Valid and Reliable Tool to Predict Diverse Students’ Success in Law School:

As one of two companion articles, this report tests the validity and reliability of a 2019 pilot test of the exam developed as the precursor to the JD-Next program: a fully-online, non-credit, 7.5-week course to train potential JD students in case reading and analysis skills, prior to their first year of law school. We recruited a national sample of potential JD students, enriched for racial/ethnic diversity, and randomized them to the course or an active placebo (consisting of television shows). We also recruited a sample of volunteers at one particular university who self-selected into the course. All participants (treatment and placebo) took a multiple-choice and essay exam, graded with a standardized methodology. 

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June 4, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

JD-Next: A Randomized Experiment Of An Online Scalable Program To Prepare Diverse Students For Law School

Cayley Balser, Heidi Burross, Matt Charles, Katherine Cheng, Adriana Cimetta, Jessica Findley, Ran Li, Christopher T. Robertson (Arizona), JD-Next: A Randomized Experiment of an Online Scalable Program to Prepare Diverse Students for Law School:

We sought to expose diverse potential law students to the methods of JD education and to prepare them for success in law school. This paper reports on the efficacy of the 2019 pilot test of the precursor to the JD-Next program: a fully-online, non-credit, 7.5-week course to train potential JD students in case reading and analysis skills, prior to their first year of law school. We recruited a national sample of potential JD students, enriched for racial/ethnic diversity so that less than half were White non-Hispanics, and randomized them to the course or an active placebo control group (where participants watched legal television shows). We also recruited a sample of volunteers at one university who self-selected into the course and who were propensity score-matched to non-participants, using university archival data. We found that participating in the course is associated with substantial improvement in grades for the targeted 1L course (Contracts) and overall first semester 1L GPA. We also report substantial student confidence gains and satisfaction with the course, in qualitative and quantitative terms, based on a survey at three points in time (pre-course, post-course, and post-semester).

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June 4, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Thursday, June 3, 2021

A Curmudgeon’s View Of The Multi-Generational Teaching Of Legal Writing

Jan M. Levine (Duquesne), A Curmudgeon’s View of The Multi-Generational Teaching of Legal Writing, 25 J. Legal Writing Inst. 69 (2021):

This essay is an effort to open a discussion about some aspects of the academic legal writing world that have been increasingly troubling me for several years. In January 2020 Professor Sue Liemer of Elon University School of Law put together a diverse panel of legal writing professors for a session titled “The Multi-Generational Teaching of Legal Writing.” The proposal called for participants “to keep an informal journal of experiences relevant to the discussion group’s topic” to “serve as springboards for the participants’ written presentation summaries.” The proposal noted that the “overall goal of the discussion group is to articulate and explore pedagogical issues that bubble beneath the surface as legal writing professors from four generations are now teaching at United States law schools.”

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June 3, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

Feeling And Thinking Like A Lawyer: Cognition, Emotion, And The Practice And Progress Of Law

Susan A. Bandes (DePaul; Google Scholar), Feeling and Thinking Like a Lawyer: Cognition, Emotion, and the Practice and Progress of Law, 89 Fordham L. Rev. 1 (2021):

Generations of lawyers have been taught that thinking like a lawyer requires putting emotion aside. They are warned, for example, that anger will blind them to the facts as they really are. Yet cognitive science rejects the notion that emotion and reason are autonomous, warring spheres. Recently there has been increasing recognition of the harmful consequences of the narrow conception of “thinking like a lawyer” to lawyers’ well-being, but these consequences are generally portrayed as a necessary trade-off between the well-being of lawyers and the preservation of analytical rigor. This Essay will argue that the harm the narrow conception of “thinking like a lawyer” poses to lawyers’ well-being is not simply an ancillary issue or an unfortunate but necessary collateral consequence of engaging in rigorous, logical thinking. A conception of law that attempts to cordon off emotion is poorly suited to the complexities of legal practice and is inconsistent with modern knowledge about how legal, ethical, and moral reasoning—and indeed, legal change and reform—actually occur. 

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June 3, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Clinics At Wisconsin: Comprehensive, In-Depth Pedagogy And Bottom-Up Innovation

Keith A. Findley (Wisconsin; Google Scholar) & Louise G. Trubek (Wisconsin), Clinics at Wisconsin: Comprehensive, In-Depth Pedagogy and Bottom-Up Innovation, 2021 Wis. L. Rev. 409:

The University of Wisconsin (UW) Law School has been a pioneer in clinical education. Experiential education, involving actual legal advocacy and practice, started at Wisconsin in the 1970s before many U.S. law schools had even thought about what came to be called law school “clinics."

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June 2, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education, Scholarship | Permalink

Critical Teaching

Jay M. Feinman (Rutgers), Critical Teaching:

This paper is a discussion of the engagement of the critical legal studies movement with law school teaching, focused on the teaching of private law. It describes how CLS criticized and offered alternatives to every element of the existing model of law teaching. Because the teaching project was driven by the broader CLS scholarly project, the critique and alternatives were thorough-going, integrated, and explicit in a way that gave them power, heightened the contrast with traditional approaches, and resulted in better teaching.

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June 2, 2021 in Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink

To Boost Productivity, Lawyers And Law Students Should 'Socially Distance' From Their Phones

Karen Sloan (Law.com0, To Boost Productivity, Lawyers and Law Students Should 'Socially Distance' From Their Phones:

Law Student's Guide 2Suffolk University law professor Shailini George wrote the book on distracted law students—literally.

Her new book, titled, “The Law Student’s Guide To Doing Well and Being Well,” relies on neuroscience research to map out how lawyers and law students can curb the many distractions of modern life (ahem, smartphones) and increase their focus and productivity. George makes the case that multitasking drains our mental energy and that all-night cram sessions are less effective than focused, 50-minute study periods.

Law.com caught up with George to discuss her findings, how lawyers and law students can be more efficient with their time and why smartphones remind her of an infant’s pacifier. Her answers have been edited for length. ...

Has the advent of the smartphone exacerbated this distraction problem?
It absolutely has. I’ll be honest, this is me too. But what you see with students is that the phone never leaves their hands. It reminds me of my children when they were infants, who liked pacifiers. They didn’t need the pacifier in their mouth—they wanted to hold onto the pacifier. Just knowing it was there was comforting. I think it’s a similar phenomenon with people and their phones—in the grocery store, in class, driving. Everybody has a phone in their hand, and they’re filling every spare moment of their time scrolling on their phones. It does cause you not to be able to keep your focus on any one item. ...

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June 2, 2021 in Book Club, Legal Ed Scholarship, Legal Education | Permalink