Building on Best Practices

IN 2007 two very influential publications on US legal education appeared.  The Carnegie Foundation’s Educating Lawyers and  Best Practices of Legal Education.  Best Practices was the product of a six year collaborative effort to describe ways of revising legal education to make students more prepared for practice.  Although it came from a clinical education impetus, it ranges across all issues in the curriculum.

A sequel to Best Practices, Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World has just been published. It is available as an e-book from LexisNexis in the US, but I’ve been unable so far to get past the geo-block that seems to be in place (despite LexisNexis providing the e-book free in the broader interests of legal education).  Despite that setback, all the chapters of the book have been posted to SSRN and so the manuscript can be easily downloaded:

PART ONE BUILDING AN EFFECTIVE LAW SCHOOL: MISSION AND ACCOUNTABILITY

Chapter 1 CREATING AN EFFECTIVE LAW SCHOOL MISSION is available at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2637068

Chapter 2 ASSURING ACCOUNTABILITY THROUGH MISSION: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2637100

PART TWO BUILDING A PROGRAM OF INSTRUCTION THAT MEETS THE MISSION

Chapter 3 RETHINKING THE CURRICULUM: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2637102

Chapter 4 REVISITING THE CHARACTERISTICS OF EFFECTIVE EDUCATION : http://ssrn.com/abstract=2637490

Chapter 5 IMPLEMENTING EFFECTIVE EDUCATION IN SPECIFIC CONTEXTS: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2637495

Chapter 6 TEACHING THE NEWLY ESSENTIAL KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND VALUES IN A CHANGING WORLD: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2637499

PART THREE BUILDING AND MAINTAINING AN EFFECTIVE INSTITUTION

Chapter 7 CREATING AN INSTITUTIONAL CULTURE OF ASSESSMENT: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2637541

Chapter 8 TRANSFORMING LEGAL EDUCATION AS AN IMPERATIVE IN TODAY’S WORLD: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2637544

Just the chapter titles alone underscore how influential this book will also be in the current educational climate.  Happy reading!

Alex Steel

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2 thoughts on “Building on Best Practices

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  1. What a great compliment the Australian system gets in the first chapter (even if it is about TLOs – of which I am no fan)..

    I had been ready to rail against the book for its complete failure to include even one contributor from a non-American jurisdiction, but was placated by Judith Welch Wegner’s discussion of the Australian approach and her suggestion to the readers to look outside America for examples and lessons: “U.S. law schools should consider how their counterparts around the world view core learning goals and expected outcomes for graduates.”

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