Designing Law School Assessment to Meet New Forms of Legal Practice: A Model from Australia

Clinical Law Review (Forthcoming)

ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 21.38

22 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2021 Last revised: 6 Dec 2021

See all articles by Heather Roberts

Heather Roberts

ANU College of Law

Andrew Henderson

Australian National University, College of Law; University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice

Date Written: October 19, 2021

Abstract

The nature of legal practice is changing rapidly. Law schools' traditional emphasis on exams and essays provides little opportunity for students to build the broad range of skills they will need in order to meet the new legal workplace's demands. At the same time, the expectations held by universities, admitting authorities, and employers that law schools' assessment is valid, transparent, and reliable means that designing new assessment tasks needs to be approached carefully. Examples of broader assessment tasks that could be used as models are rare. This article contributes to filling the gap in models of assessment beyond traditional exams and essays, using an example of an innovative assessment task implemented at the Australian National University College of Law. It describes and demonstrates how returning to "first principles" in assessment design can guide innovative assessment. It includes empirical data on stakeholders' positive evaluation of the assessment design in meeting the current and future needs of the legal profession and clients.

Keywords: legal education, assessment

JEL Classification: K10, K40

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Heather and Henderson, Andrew, Designing Law School Assessment to Meet New Forms of Legal Practice: A Model from Australia (October 19, 2021). Clinical Law Review (Forthcoming), ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 21.38, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3945189

Heather Roberts

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

Andrew Henderson (Contact Author)

Australian National University, College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

University of Canberra - School of Law and Justice ( email )

Australia

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