The New Accreditation Standards are Coming to a Law School Near You – What You Need to Know About Learning Outcomes & Assessment
35 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2010
Date Written: July 5, 2010
Drawing on the special committee‘s report and input from various interested parties, the Student Learning Outcomes sub-committee of the ABA's Standards Review Committee currently proposes revising the Standards and Interpretations to shift from a teaching-centered regime to a regime focusing on student learning as well as shifting from a curriculum focus to an outcomes focus. The Student Learning Outcomes sub-committee has developed five drafts to date and continues to make revisions, making it difficult to analyze the actual language of any revised standard; however, some guiding principles seem to be surfacing around the outcome measures issue. This Article analyzes these principles and their possible ramifications, both good and bad, on legal writing programs, the legal academy, law students, and the public. The Article then predicts a positive impact on legal education if outcome measures become more prominent in the standards. Exploring the rich literature on learning objectives and assessment, the Article offers law school faculties generally, and legal writing professors specifically, concrete and practical suggestions on how to prepare for the changes outcome measures will require.
Keywords: assessment, standards, accreditation
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation