Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1856109
 
 

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Teaching Skills of Legal Analysis: Does the Emperor Have Any Clothes?


David J. Herring


University of New Mexico School of Law

Collin Lynch


University of Pittsburgh - Learning Research and Development Center & Intelligent Systems

December 5, 2013

18 Legal Writing 85 (2012)
UNM School of Law Research Paper 2013-09

Abstract:     
This Article adds to the on-going discussion about the assessment of student learning outcomes in law schools. It addresses the assessment of first-year law students’ basic legal reading and reasoning skills, with a particular examination of students’ capacity to read closely related cases, detect indeterminacies of meaning among cases, and determine which similarities and distinctions are relevant in light of an assigned professional role or task. Following a detailed review of the prior research in this area, the paper reports the results of a study that employed pre- and post-test instruments to measure the impact of the traditional case-dialogue teaching methodology on students’ skills of legal reading and reasoning. The analysis of students’ normalized learning gains indicates that while some of the participating students realized an improvement in their reading and reasoning skills, the student population as a whole did not achieve substantial learning gains. This central finding is consistent with the findings from the prior studies in this area. The results across studies call for the development of teaching approaches other than the traditional case-dialogue method and for the continued assessment of learning gains.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: legal education, educational assessment, assessment, student learning outcomes, teaching, teaching outcomes, law students, methodology, case-dialog, Carnegie Report

JEL Classification: K19, I21

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Date posted: June 2, 2011 ; Last revised: December 11, 2013

Suggested Citation

Herring, David J. and Lynch, Collin, Teaching Skills of Legal Analysis: Does the Emperor Have Any Clothes? (December 5, 2013). 18 Legal Writing 85 (2012); UNM School of Law Research Paper 2013-09. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1856109 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1856109

Contact Information

David J. Herring (Contact Author)
University of New Mexico School of Law ( email )
1117 Stanford, N.E.
Albuquerque, NM 87131
United States

Collin Lynch
University of Pittsburgh - Learning Research and Development Center & Intelligent Systems ( email )
LRDC Rm 729
3939 O'Hara St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States
412-624-7039 (Phone)
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