Saturday, April 28, 2018

"Mandatory Professional Skills Training: What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been"

Over at the Best Practices for Legal Education Blog, former CLEA President Professor Robert Kuehn has a key post (complete with several helpful graphs) that takes a snapshot of student enrollment trends in clinical and other experiential-type coursework at all accredited ABA law schools since 2005 when the ABA implemented a "professional skills" curricular requirement. Professor Kuehn observes that total enrollment in clinical courses, externships and practice simulation courses has increased by almost 25% in the past 10 years. His review of the data also responds to those critics who assert that one explanation for the recent nationwide downturn in bar passage rates is that students have been diverted away from more traditional doctrinal coursework toward experiential classes. But Professor Kuehn refutes that by offering data that shows bar passage rates were in fact pretty stable from 2006 to 2013, a period during which student enrollment in experiential courses increased by more than 50%.

Professor Kuehn says that a full length article discussing this data in more detail is forthcoming from himself and co-author Professor David Moss (Wayne State). In the meantime, however, he's providing the aforementioned teaser here.


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