Saturday, November 29, 2014

Does the Multistate Bar Exam Hinder Legal Education?

Over at “Best Practices for Legal Education (Nov. 14), Margaret Moore Jackson argues that the importance of the MBE may be compelling law schools to focus on multiple choice test taking skills rather than on quality legal education:

Lawyers don’t need multiple choice test-taking skills to be effective in their work, but law graduates must master this form of test-taking to gain a professional license. So law schools, and their curriculum committees, must consider the extent to which they will shoulder the responsibility for preparing students for the bar exam – including improving their ability to succeed on multiple choice tests. Even before this marked decline in scores, many schools had already changed their bar preparation efforts from subtle to overt.

But at a time when law schools are focusing on teaching integrated doctrine, skills, and values, an already ambitious undertaking, is it backtracking to reconsider the multiple choice test – like LSAT prep all over again – instead of progressively developing knowledge and true professional competence? Or is it appropriate to simultaneously develop the skills students need to pass the (often criticized) bar exam?

You can read the rest here. I don’t think a misuse of educational resources is a problem at my school. I can’t speak for other shops.


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