The Gap Between the Foundational Competencies Clients and Legal Employers Need and the Learning Outcomes Law Schools Are Adopting
Forthcoming in 89 UMKC Law Review (2020)
22 Pages Posted: 14 May 2020
Date Written: March 01, 2020
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: Suggested Citation