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)

21 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2008 Last revised: 11 Dec 2012

Leah M. Christensen

Thomas Jefferson School of Law

Date Written: August 18, 2008

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.

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

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1235531

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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