Sunday, December 28, 2014
The ABA's recent addition of an assessment requirement to its standards may become a disruptive force in legal education. Professor David Thomson has just posted an introduction to law school assessment on SSRN.
When the ABA Comes Calling, Let's Speak the Same Language of Assessment
There has been much discussion recently in legal education circles about the need for improvements in assessment. Recently, the American Bar Association has responded by adding an assessment requirement to the accreditation standards, making the subject even more urgent. Because most of us in the legal academy are new to the language and methods of assessment there have been misunderstandings. And further, because there are different levels of assessment and each level usually has different goals, sometimes the discussion can become confused. It is imperative that we understand the different levels and goals of assessment projects, so we may communicate more effectively with each other and meet the new ABA Standards in an efficient manner. This article is intended to clarify and simplify the discussion of assessment as it applies to law schools. If we all understand what we are talking about and what we are doing in this area, we can share information more readily and accurately, and advancements will be quicker and more effective.