Saturday, November 22, 2014

Should the Drop in MBE Scores Affect our Teaching?

As we have reported, scores on the Multistate Bar Exam have declined, and that decline has raised a minor ruckus. Over at Best Practices for Legal Education (Nov. 14), Margaret Moore Johnson raises a difficult issue: would traditional doctrinal teaching help our students pass the bar more than does the sort of teaching that many of us now advocate? (my words, not hers):

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?


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