Monday, January 9, 2012

2011 Law School Survey of Student Engagement finds most are happy with decision to attend law school but want more skills-related training

The annual LSSSE report on student engagement is out now and available here. Among the findings for 2011, more than 80% of the students surveyed said they are happy with their decision to attend law school and would re-enroll if given the chance. Though students who incurred the greatest amount of debt to attend law school were less sanguine about their decision.  Almost half the students surveyed, however, thought their schools didn't do enough to provide them with practical legal skills.

More than 33,000 students at 95 law schools in the U.S. and Canada responded to the LSSSE survey. The average institutional response rate was 52%.  Some of the key findings include:

• The vast majority of students rated their overall law school
experience favorably; 83% reported that their experience in
law school was good or excellent.

• Eighty percent of students said that they definitely or
probably would attend the same law school if they could
start over again.

• Twenty-three percent of law students who expected to accrue
more than $80,000 of law school-related debt reported that
they would not or probably would not attend the same law
school if given the opportunity to start over.

• Though the majority of JD students who have
incurred higher amounts of law school-related debt were
satisfied with their overall law school experience, more of
these students (18% of students who expect to graduate
with law school-related debt greater than $80,000) rated
their experience as fair or poor. In comparison, only 14%
of students with an expected law school-related debt of less
than $40,000 rated their experience unfavorably.

• Students with high levels of law school-related debt more
often used and were satisfied with career support at their
law school. Of students who expected to owe more than
$80,000 in law school-related debt after graduating, 64%
used and were satisfied with job search support, and
84% used and were satisfied with career counseling at
their school.

• Forty percent of law students felt that their legal education
had so far contributed only some or very little to their
acquisition of job- or work-related knowledge and skills.

You can read the full report here.


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