The Maccrate Report Turns 10: Assessing its Impact and Identifying Gaps We Should Seek to Narrow
Clinical Law Review, Vol. 8, p. 109, 2001-2002
62 Pages Posted: 4 Nov 2005
This article is designed to begin a discussion about the impact of the MacCrate Report, and questions we should confront, ten years after the Report's publication. The article begins with a summary of the Report, the activity within the legal education world in the Report's wake and the accompanying scholarly debate. It then shifts from the national stage to that of an individual law school, using the New England School of Law in Boston as a case study. The article examines the curricular changes that occurred at that school over the past ten years, and the process that led to the changes. The article analyzes the impact of the changes and the effect of the MacCrate Report in this context, a discussion that necessarily includes an exploration of the process of assessment and a search for appropriate standards for analyzing the impact. The article next returns to the national scene, reaching preliminary conclusions about the Report's impact based on the limited information available, but also urging that we use the tenth anniversary of the MacCrate Report to engage in a more detailed assessment of our teaching of skills and values. The article then raises and explores a series of questions to guide this assessment. The article examines choices involving higher and lower credit programs, full-year and one-semester programs, programs that depend on careful sequencing versus programs that do not, and programs beginning in the first year versus programs focusing on the upper-level classes. The article then shifts to the debate regarding the relative merits of in-house clinics versus externship programs and the resulting implications for an overall skills and values program. The article ends with a discussion of strategies for filling gaps that we know exist in the teaching of values identified by the MacCrate Report that relate to the goal of "Pursuing Equal Justice" in legal education.
Keywords: Legal Education, MacCrate Report, Legal Ethics, Clinical Education
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