Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New study shows legal writing grade is best predictor of academic success.

Professor Leah Christensen, Associate Professor of Law at Thomas Jefferson Law School, has just authored a new article describing a study she conducted demonstrating the critical importance of legal writing in the law school curriculum to students' success. 

Leahchristensenw The article is entitled, "The Power of Skills Training:  A Study of Lawyering Skills Grades as the Strongest Predictor of Law School Success (Or in Other Words, Its Time for Legal Education to Get Serious About Skills Training If We Care About How Our Students Learn)."

The study asked 157 law students to respond to a survey about their learning goals in law school.  Professor Christensen wanted to explore whether law students' motivations for learning (i.e., mastery- or performance orientations) impacted their law school success.  In addition, she explored whether learning goals correlated to different academic variables, including class rank, LSAT score, Undergraduate GPA (UGPA) and Lawyering Skills Grade.  The results were significant:  Lawyering Skills Grade was the strongest predictor of law student success.  In contrast, the LSAT was the weakest predictor of law school success.  The study also found that law students who did well in their Lawyering Skills classes tended to be mastery-oriented learners, and that law students who were mastery-oriented learners were more successful in law school overall.

A link to the abstract is available here.

I am the scholarship dude.

(jbl)

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legalwriting/2008/08/new-study-shows.html

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