The State of Legal Research Education; A Survey of First Year Legal Research Programs or 'Why Johnny and Jane Cannot Research'

33 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2016 Last revised: 15 Mar 2016

See all articles by Caroline Osborne

Caroline Osborne

West Virginia University College of Law

Date Written: January 1, 2016

Abstract

Dissatisfaction with the research skills of the new associate is an oft-repeated refrain. This article explores the state of research education in the law school curriculum. Questions explored include: whether or not legal research is a required first year class; the number of semesters of research instruction; the expertise of the professor; number of credits awarded for legal research, scope of the curriculum and observed challenges. Also considered is the impact of a more vigorous writing focus on research skills education. Survey data collected from the two hundred ranked law schools is used to explore these questions and as the basis for reforming research education.

Keywords: Computer-Assisted Legal Research, Legal Research Skills, Legal Writing, Reforming Research Education, Research Skills Education, Standard Sources for Legal Research

JEL Classification: K00, K1, K40

Suggested Citation

Osborne, Caroline, The State of Legal Research Education; A Survey of First Year Legal Research Programs or 'Why Johnny and Jane Cannot Research' (January 1, 2016). Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2016-1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2724095 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2724095

Caroline Osborne (Contact Author)

West Virginia University College of Law ( email )

PO Box 6025
Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

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