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Using Science to Build Better Learners: One School's Successful Efforts to Raise Its Bar Passage Rates in an Era of Decline

12 Florida International University Law Review, 2017, Forthcoming

Florida International University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 17-11

28 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2017 Last revised: 19 May 2017

Louis N. Schulze Jr.

Florida International University (FIU) - College of Law

Date Written: April 28, 2017

Abstract

What measures can law schools take to improve student performance and bar passage? The answer is not what you think.

Recent developments in the science of learning show that most law students learn wrong. In fact, ineffective methods of learning pervade all levels of education. We now know that widely accepted learning and study strategies that were once considered gospel are actually deeply flawed. Yet we still embrace and propagate those myths.

Meanwhile, bar passage rates and law student performance are plummeting. Everyone in legal education is asking “what can we do?” But, “what can we do?” is the wrong question. The right question is to ask how students can capitalize on the science of learning to be more effective learners.

In this essay, I discuss principles from the science of learning that law schools and students should embrace. In the context of the methods we have implemented at Florida International University College of Law, which had the highest bar passage rate in Florida for three consecutive exams, I detail the project of transforming the learning of law away from the ineffective methods of yore and towards effective strategies that can make a difference on student performance and bar passage.

And it all has to do with science, not lore.

Suggested Citation

Schulze, Louis N., Using Science to Build Better Learners: One School's Successful Efforts to Raise Its Bar Passage Rates in an Era of Decline (April 28, 2017). 12 Florida International University Law Review, 2017, Forthcoming; Florida International University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 17-11. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2960192

Louis Schulze (Contact Author)

Florida International University (FIU) - College of Law ( email )

11200 SW 8th St.
RDB Hall 1097
Miami, FL 33199
United States
305-348-4963 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.fiu.edu/faculty/louis-schulze-jr/

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