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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1677820
 
 

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Tuning Legal Studies in Europe: Initial Findings


Julian Lonbay


University of Birmingham - School of Law

Tom Latrup Pederson


University of Aarhus

Michiel van de Kasteelen


Utrecht University

Anne Pelissier


University of Strasbourg

Jacek Petzel


University of Warsaw

John Bell


University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law

Lars Skjold Wilhelmsen


University of Bergen

Julia Gonzales


University of Deusto

Robert Wagenaar


University of Groningen

February 16, 2008


Abstract:     
The creation of the European Higher Education Area within the Bologna Process is explained with its concomitant need for national qualification frameworks to emerge along with “learning outcomes”, all to be linked together by the European meta-framework. The Report explains the background to the work of QUAACAS and ELFA in the Tuning Legal Studies process. It outlines the selection of national representatives and how the questionnaires were developed and the methodology of the project. The Tuning Legal Studies Project is then briefly explained: – an organised consultation of graduates, employers and academics about what they consider to be their most important generic and specific competences gained during legal studies at university. The idea of competences and outcomes on the law context then follows.

In Tuning Legal Studies there were four questionnaires. Employers and graduates were asked about generic competences learned during legal studies, with academics then ranking these results. Within the broader Tuning project these generic competences are very similar for all disciplines. Academics were additionally asked to rank a set of “specific” legal competences, devised by QUAACAS in consultation with national representatives, in order of importance.

The results show gaps between competences and achievement which raise a lot of questions about curriculum design in legal education, focus on teaching or learning activities, alignment between described learning outcomes, teaching and learning activities, and assessment. As competences are recognised as significant or important there is clear scope for further work on curriculum reform to enhance and develop those particular competences. It is conceivable that some work could be undertaken in co-operation with the European legal professions for certain competences in develop both curricula and extra-curricula activities. Co-ordination could be sought with the Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) for example. ELFA could develop its own policies on which competences should be recognised or enhanced (by further collaborative work). There is also a clear chance for ELFA to help and advise law schools across Europe in the ongoing development of national qualification frameworks in relation to legal studies. There is a likelihood that a sectoral qualification framework could emerge for law in Europe as a result of the processes described in the Report.

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Date posted: September 18, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Lonbay, Julian and Pederson, Tom Latrup and Kasteelen, Michiel van de and Pelissier, Anne and Petzel, Jacek and Bell, John and Wilhelmsen, Lars Skjold and Gonzales, Julia and Wagenaar, Robert, Tuning Legal Studies in Europe: Initial Findings (February 16, 2008). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1677820 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1677820

Contact Information

Julian Lonbay (Contact Author)
University of Birmingham - School of Law ( email )
Chancellor's Court
Edgbaston
Birmingham, B15 2TT
United Kingdom
Tom Latrup Pederson
University of Aarhus
Nordre Ringgade 1
DK-8000 Aarhus C, 8000
Denmark
Michiel van de Kasteelen
Utrecht University
Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands
Anne Pelissier
University of Strasbourg
Strasbourg, Alsace
France
Jacek Petzel
University of Warsaw
Szturmowa 1/3 Warsaw
Poland
John S. Bell
University of Cambridge - Faculty of Law ( email )
10 West Road
Cambridge, CB3 9DZ
United Kingdom
Lars Skjold Wilhelmsen
University of Bergen
Muséplassen 1
N-5008 Bergen, +47 55 58
Norway
Julia Gonzales
University of Deusto
Bilbao, 48007
Spain
Robert Wagenaar
University of Groningen
P.O. Box 800
9700 AH Groningen
Netherlands
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