JD-Next: A Valid and Reliable Tool to Predict Diverse Students’ Success in Law School
36 Pages Posted: 13 May 2021 Last revised: 28 May 2021
Date Written: May 13, 2021
As one of two companion articles, this report tests the validity and reliability of a 2019 pilot test of the exam developed as the precursor to the JD-Next program: a fully-online, non-credit, 7.5-week course to train potential JD students in case reading and analysis skills, prior to their first year of law school. We recruited a national sample of potential JD students, enriched for racial/ethnic diversity, and randomized them to the course or an active placebo (consisting of television shows). We also recruited a sample of volunteers at one particular university who self-selected into the course. All participants (treatment and placebo) took a multiple-choice and essay exam, graded with a standardized methodology. We found that the course exam was a valid and reliable predictor of law school performance, comparable to other standardized tests frequently used for law school admissions. In a companion article, we report on the efficacy of the course for preparing students for law school.
Keywords: legal education, academic success, bridge program, pipeline program, case briefing, case analysis, legal analysis, law school GPA, online curriculum, admissions, student confidence, standardized testing, admissions testing, validity, reliability, standard 503, diversity and inclusion, disparities
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