The Gap Between the Foundational Competencies Clients and Legal Employers Need and the Learning Outcomes Law Schools Are Adopting

22 Pages Posted: 14 May 2020

See all articles by Neil W. Hamilton

Neil W. Hamilton

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: March 01, 2020

Abstract

This article is the first to answer the question whether law schools are including the foundational competencies needed to represent clients in their learning outcomes. While all law schools are adopting learning outcomes on the technical skills needed to practice law (knowledge of doctrinal law, legal analysis, legal writing and research, and legal judgment), this article identifies a substantial gap between the learning outcomes being adopted and the other foundational competencies needed to represent clients. The most serious gap is that while clients and legal employers want law graduates to demonstrate a strong client service orientation, almost no law schools are adopting a client service orientation learning outcome. This gap both goes directly to the profession’s understanding of competence required by Model Rule 1.1 and presents a major opportunity for an entrepreneurial law school to differentiate itself by helping its students better meet client and legal employer needs.

Keywords: competencies, learning outcomes, competency based education

Suggested Citation

Hamilton, Neil W., The Gap Between the Foundational Competencies Clients and Legal Employers Need and the Learning Outcomes Law Schools Are Adopting (March 01, 2020). Forthcoming in 89 UMKC Law Review (2020), U of St. Thomas (Minnesota) Legal Studies Research Paper No. 20-04, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2828437

Neil W. Hamilton (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States

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