Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Scholarship alert: "Legal research as a fundamental skill: a lifeboat for students and law schools"

This article is by Professor Sarah Valentine of City University New York School of Law and can be found at 39 U. Balt. L. Rev. 173 (2010).  From the abstract:

While recognizing that these skill sets overlap, this Article adopts this distinction between legal and lawyering skills by using the term "legal skill" to denote the teaching and acquisition of doctrine and legal reasoning abilities, and using the term "lawyering" or "lawyering skills" to denote all other skills routinely used by lawyers. ... In 2007, the Carnegie Report and Best Practices reiterated the criticism that law schools were failing to teach lawyering skills and provided recommendations on how to restructure legal education. ... First-year writing programs purposefully select problems that beginning law students can grasp easily, and thus do not allow students to interact with a range of primary and secondary authority or provide the level of interaction with the material to facilitate a deep understanding of the research process. ... The growth of computers, computerized legal research, and the Internet has increased the importance of teaching students to apply critical thinking skills to both web and fee-based research systems. ... Active learning methodologies are recognized for teaching critical thinking and problem-solving skills and for teaching students to take more responsibility for their own learning experience. ... When legal research is integrated into the first-year curriculum, uses the cases taught in doctrinal classes, builds upon the authorities used in legal writing, and references the issues other courses are discussing, it creates a synergy that supports student learning.

I am the scholarship dude.



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