Assessments All the Way Down

Green Bag, Second Edition, Vol. 21, pp. 139-151, 2018

Texas A&M University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 18-14

14 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2018 Last revised: 13 Aug 2018

See all articles by James McGrath

James McGrath

Texas A&M University School of Law

Andrew P. Morriss

Texas A&M School of Innovation; PERC - Property and Environment Research Center

Date Written: June 21, 2018

Abstract

The role of assessments is getting attention throughout legal education. A growing acceptance of the Graduate Record Examination (“GRE”) as an alternative to the Law School Aptitude Test (“LSAT”) and its incorporation into the U.S. News & World Report (“USN&WR”) law school rankings opened the door to changes in who is going to law school and how they are recruited. At the other end of students’ journey through legal education, the discussion of recent graduates’ bar exam performance – linked by some to declining LSAT scores of entering students – raised questions about the design of bar exams as well as about law schools’ preparation of graduates for the bar. In between, the American Bar Association’s incorporation of assessment into its accreditation process spurred growing interest in how law schools conduct assessments and is prompting changes in how legal educators evaluate students. In this article, we begin with the issues raised by the GRE’s appearance as an alternate pathway. Next, we set out assessment principles likely to influence future conversations in the legal academy. Then we look at how the bar results discussion connects to improving assessment strategies. Finally, we conclude with speculation about what this all means.

Suggested Citation

McGrath, James and Morriss, Andrew P., Assessments All the Way Down (June 21, 2018). Green Bag, Second Edition, Vol. 21, pp. 139-151, 2018; Texas A&M University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 18-14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3200706 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3200706

James McGrath (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University School of Law ( email )

1515 Commerce St.
Fort Worth, TX 76102
United States

Andrew P. Morriss

Texas A&M School of Innovation ( email )

1249 TAMU / 645 Lamar St.
College Station, TX 77843
United States

PERC - Property and Environment Research Center ( email )

2048 Analysis Drive
Suite A
Bozeman, MT 59718
United States

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