Sunday, February 28, 2010

Is it time to hand over the law school keys to skills profs?

That's part of the message in this post from the Law Librarian Blog:

According to Karen Sloan in her NLJ article entitled Holding schools accountable, "[t]he proposed [learning outcome accreditation] standards would help solidify a philosophical shift that is taking place throughout legal education that emphasizes the responsibility of law schools to teach students to be lawyers, not just to think like them." Think like who? Practicing lawyers or law profs? Theses plenty of literature pointing to the "think like law profs" answer. It might be confirmed by Sloan's article. She writes

Perhaps the thorniest question the ABA and law school administrators now face is how to identify the skills law students should have upon graduation and to decide how specific the new standards should be in requiring the achievement and measurement of those skills.

They Don't Know What Skills? Don't look to the typical law prof for an answer to the What Skills? question. It's probably beyond their comprehension. Might be time to hand over the administration of the legal academy to legal skills profs, clinicians and adjuncts. Weren't those the sort of folks who replaced the apprenticeship model with more rigorous instruction in how to enter the profession in the first place?

Please continue reading here for a historical perspective on "skills" versus "theory." 

Big hat tip to Joe Hodnicki.

I am the scholarship dude.


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