Sunday, October 13, 2013

What are you trying to accomplish in law school?

There are many things that we want our students to accomplish in law school.  Each law school has a mission statement and various goals/objectives.  All of us have been in on discussions as to what we want to have happen during three years of law school (or four or two depending on the model). 

I made the following list for my students to ponder because some of them had not really thought about what they wanted to accomplish in law school and how it relates to future practice.  The list is not all-inclusive nor is it in a perfect order.  Instead it is a starting point for my students' reflection.

  • Learn how to solve legal problems.
  • Learn to use a legal vocabulary precisely.
  • Learn the details of our U.S. legal system.
  • Learn basic legal concepts and principles for a variety of courses.
  • Learn how to use legal reasoning strategies to analyze any legal problem.
  • Learn how to argue both sides of any legal problem.
  • Learn how to use policy arguments appropriately.
  • Learn how to research the law.
  • Learn how to write objective and persuasive legal documents.
  • Learn ethical principles that will promote success in practice.
  • Learn professional skills to manage work assignments, time, and stress.
  • Learn legal skills and a foundation in the law to facilitate passing the bar exam on the first attempt.
  • Learn legal skills, a foundation in the law, and ethical behavior to facilitate being a respected lawyer among your colleagues and clients.

If students get too focused on the next reading assignment or the next exam question, they miss why they are here and what they can gain from the experience.  ASPers work with faculty to help our students accomplish these items before they graduate.  It is a team effort.  (Amy Jarmon)  

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/academic_support/2013/10/what-are-you-trying-to-accomplish-in-law-school.html

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