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The Power of Skills Training: A Study of Lawyering Skills Grades as the Strongest Predictor of Law School Success (Or In Other Words, It's Time For Legal Education to Get Serious About Skills Training If We Care About How Our Students Learn)


Leah M. Christensen


Thomas Jefferson School of Law

August 18, 2008

St. John's Law Review, Vol. 83, p. 795, 2009
TJSL Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1235531
NYLS Clinical Research Institute Paper No. 09/10 #27

Abstract:     
It is time for legal education to get serious about integrating skills into the law school curriculum. For far too long, skills instruction has been relegated to secondary status within the traditional legal curriculum. In the study presented in this article, the Lawyering Skills Grade was the strongest predictor of law student success. In contrast, the LSAT score was the weakest predictor of law school success. This study also found that law students who did well in their Lawyering Skills classes tended to be mastery-oriented learners, and that law students who were mastery-oriented learners were more successful in law school overall. It is time for significant reform of legal education including the full integration of skills within the law school curriculum.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: legal education, pedagogy, legal writing, skills, LSAT, legal education reform

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Date posted: August 20, 2008 ; Last revised: December 11, 2012

Suggested Citation

Christensen, Leah M., The Power of Skills Training: A Study of Lawyering Skills Grades as the Strongest Predictor of Law School Success (Or In Other Words, It's Time For Legal Education to Get Serious About Skills Training If We Care About How Our Students Learn) (August 18, 2008). St. John's Law Review, Vol. 83, p. 795, 2009; TJSL Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1235531; NYLS Clinical Research Institute Paper No. 09/10 #27. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1235531

Contact Information

Leah M. Christensen (Contact Author)
Thomas Jefferson School of Law ( email )
1155 Island Ave
San Diego, CA 92101
United States
619-961-4264 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.tjsl.edu/faculty-l-christensen
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