Experimenting on Law Students: Why Imposing no Ethical Constraints on Educational Research Using Law Students is a Bad Idea and Proposed Ethical Guidelines

36 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2011

See all articles by Scott DeVito

Scott DeVito

Florida Coastal School of Law

Date Written: December 1, 2010

Abstract

Under current federal regulations, law school faculties are permitted to engage in human research using students as subjects with little or no ethical oversight. This freewheeling environment runs counter to well-established ethical guidelines for human research and to law professors’ heightened moral duties as members of the Bar and the legal academy. In addition, it exposes students, law faculty, and the legal academy to risks arising out of the use of unregulated human experimentation in law schools. This is inimical to morally good practice. To remedy this ethical problem, this article provides a set of guidelines for law professors who wish to ethically engage in empirical research using students as subjects.

Keywords: human research, human experimentation, law students, law teaching, law school, education, research, ethics, rules of professional responsibility, institutional review board, IRB

JEL Classification: K19, I21, I29

Suggested Citation

DeVito, Scott, Experimenting on Law Students: Why Imposing no Ethical Constraints on Educational Research Using Law Students is a Bad Idea and Proposed Ethical Guidelines (December 1, 2010). Southwestern University Law Review, Vol. 40, p. 285, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1795342

Scott DeVito (Contact Author)

Florida Coastal School of Law ( email )

8787 Baypine Rd.
Jacksonville, FL 32256
United States
(904) 680-7741 (Phone)

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