Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Academic and Bar Support Scholarship Spotlight

Lots of chatter about these two excellent pieces of ASP scholarship.

1.  Scott Johns (Denver), Putting the Bar Exam on Constitutional Notice: Cut Scores, Race & Ethnicity, and the Public Good, 45 Seattle Univ. L. Rev. __ (forthcoming 2022). 

From the abstract:

This Article challenges conventional stories told about the bar exam. Part I describes the background of the bar exam as currently used by most jurisdictions to include a hypothetical “Socratic” conversation as a prelude to understanding the bar exam and its impact on demography and the public good. Part II catalogues stories we tell to justify our recurrent resort to bar exams as the penultimate source of wisdom in making licensure decisions. Part III exposes fallacies behind many of these justifications. Part IV analyzes whether we might look to common law tort principles as a tool for exposing whether the bar exam, by producing recurrent well-known racial disparate impacts, might suffer from constitutional infirmity. Part V concludes with an exploration of some common-sense alternatives to the behemoth of the bar exam to better protect the public.

2.  Beth A. Brennan (Montana), Explicit Instruction in Legal Education: Boon or Spoon?, 52 U. Mem. L. Rev. 1 (2021):

From the abstract:

This Article examines explicit instruction as a pedagogical tool for legal educators. Part I examines cognitive psychological theories of thinking and learning to understand the differences between spoon-feeding and explicit instruction and explain why initial explicit instruction is useful. Part II delves into the cognitive differences between novices and experts that support initial explicit instruction. Part III examines experts’ cognitive barriers to effective teaching. Part IV provides examples of how explicit instruction can be used in the law school classroom.

The Article concludes that the time is ripe for the academy to bring explicit instruction out of the shadows, and to incorporate initial explicit instruction into legal education.

H/T:  Paul Caron, TaxProf Blog

(Posted by Louis Schulze, FIU Law)


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