Friday, March 30, 2018

Legal Education Reform Success At Elon Law

Dean Luke Bierman describes how Elon Law successfully reformed it educational program on PrawfsBlawg.  Here is the opening paragraph:

"The devil may be in the details and the proof may be in the pudding but at Elon Law we learn by doing. Adjusting Elon Law’s curriculum and calendar demonstrates that wholesale change can be accomplished to positive effect. Of course, there are many effects that can go into assessing the outcomes of legal education. USN&WR rankings may be one but more on that for another day. Our assessment of the comprehensive redesign undertaken at Elon Law must first be measured by our stated objective 'to create a bridge from legal theory and doctrine to the practice of law.' Likewise, our efforts to address the primary critiques of legal education as too long, too expensive and too disconnected from the profession that we had identified offer another approach for assessment. And our identification of learning outcomes along the logical continuum of preparation in Elon Law’s new curriculum provides yet another point of departure for assessment."

The key point in the above is that Elon has framed its program around "creating a bridge from legal theory and doctrine to the practice of law."  In other words, Elon is taking the cognitive components of legal reasoning and problem-solving and teaching students how to use them in the practice of law.

(Scott Fruehwald)

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