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Best Practices (CLEA) for Educating Lawyers (Carnegie) at Cleveland-Marshall (CM) Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Curriculum and Academic Programs Professors:

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Presentation on theme: "Best Practices (CLEA) for Educating Lawyers (Carnegie) at Cleveland-Marshall (CM) Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Curriculum and Academic Programs Professors:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Best Practices (CLEA) for Educating Lawyers (Carnegie) at Cleveland-Marshall (CM) Ad Hoc Committee to Review the Curriculum and Academic Programs Professors: Becker, Broering-Jacobs, Kowalski, Lazarus, Lewis, Niedringhaus, Robertson (Chair) Students: Derek Kohanski and David Sporar

2 Recent Calls for Reform of Legal Education MacCrate Report: Report of the Task Force on Law Schools and the Profession: Narrowing the Gap (1992) (ABA Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar) Carnegie Report: Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (2007) (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching) Best Practices: Best Practices for Legal Education: A Vision and a Road Map (2007) (Clinical Legal Education Association)

3 MacCrate (1)Emphasized integrating skills and values Before assuming responsibility for client work, all lawyers should acquire: ten fundamental lawyering skills four professional values (2) Stressed importance of clinical education (3) Recommended coordinated effort among law schools, the practicing bar, and licensing authorities

4 Carnegie Report Gives law schools low marks for the implementing the skills and values-focused education advocated by MacCrate Identifies three “apprenticeships” for training competent and committed practitioners: (1) cognitive (knowledge), (2) practical (skills), and (3) ethical-social (professionalism) Proposes “integrative” instead of “additive” strategy:

5 Best Practices Twelve key recommendations for law schools include: Demonstrate commitment to preparing students for bar examinations and law practice Shift to outcomes-focused instruction Organize curriculum to develop knowledge, skills, and values progressively; integrate the teaching of theory, doctrine, and practice; and teach professionalism pervasively throughout all three years Consider varied teaching methods and employ context-based instruction Use best practices for assessing student learning, including criteria- referenced assessments, multiple formative and summative assessments, and various methods of assessment.

6 Central Message: Law schools should: 1.Broaden the range of lessons they teach, increasing the variety of teaching methods and assessment opportunities 2.Integrate the teaching of knowledge, skills and values, and not treat them as separate subjects addressed in separate courses 3.Give much greater attention to instruction in professionalism

7 Shifts in Legal Education Shift 1: – Complement traditional classroom learning (Socratic-style) with more experience-based, active learning (re-envisions the classroom, uses problem based, interactive approaches, team-teaching, peer teaching, simulations, clinics, externships) Shift 2: – From single dimensional lawyers (analyze case law, litigators, domestic practice in private firm), to multi-dimensional lawyers (administrative law, statutory expertise, transactional law, ADR, problem-solving, international, varied settings, more diversity) Shift 3: – From content-exposure in key subjects (focus on content, separate from process of “lawyering”) to more depth and sophistication regarding subjects, more versatility and breadth in lawyering skills (integration of skills and doctrine, different models of analysis, interdisciplinary, progressive learning, capstones

8 Bigger than the Legal Education World Ohio State Bar Association: Task Force on Legal Education – Recommendations for Encouraging Innovation and Change – Recommendations for Integration of Theory and Practice Ohio Supreme Court: Commission on Professionalism

9 OSBA Task Force Recommendations: Innovation and Change Supreme Court of Ohio reduce/modify subjects tested on the bar exam Expand student licenses to include 2Ls Seek a waiver of certain ABA standards to facilitate experimental law school programs and curricula Seek new financial models supporting clinical and experiential legal education Ask Commission on Professionalism to develop/sponsor/facilitate opportunities for sharing best practices and innovative teaching in Ohio Study alternative paths to licensing lawyers

10 OSBA Recommendations: Theory and Practice Require professionalism training and ethics curricula for law students Provide for greater collaboration/interaction between practitioners and professors Develop teaching materials based on actual legal matters Incorporate professionalism, ethics, and professional skills in substantive courses Develop portfolios of law students’ activities during law school

11 OSBA Task Force Resolutions/Recommendations: Time Frame for Implementation 1. The Supreme Court of Ohio should issue rules (by August 1, 2010) implementing the task force recommendations applicable to 2013 law school graduates. 2. The OSCt, OSBA, local bars, and law schools should create a Joint Commission to review progress in implementing the recommendations. 3. Law schools and other organizations should be required to report to the Joint Commission by June 1, 2010, regarding what each is doing to implement the Task Force recommendations.

12 Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism Endorsed the OSBA Task Force report and recommendations Made up of law schools, lawyers, and judges Considers this extremely important Held a meeting with law school deans to report on law school efforts towards incorporating a focus on professionalism and professional skills in their programs

13 What are other schools doing? Institute for Legal Education: Reforms range from minor/marketing changes to major overhauls

14 Case Expanded legal writing to include more practice skills, added extensive upper division skills requirements – almost exclusively carried out by skills faculty and adjuncts 1 week introduction to law course, also client interviewing, counseling, trial skills courses, with 3 tracks available to suit student interest Labs (e.g. international criminal lab)

15 Akron 1) Required 6-credit Civ Pro course that requires all students to engage in a mock litigation up to settlement or summary judgment. Students file pleadings, disclosure, discovery and motions. 2) Required legal drafting course emphasizing contract drafting 3) Required Advanced Legal Research (paper) 4) Requirement to choose at least two additional skills credits from a menu

16 Ohio Northern 80% of students do a clinic, 100% satisfy skills requirement Orientation includes a “swearing in” ceremony 60 minute hours for 13 weeks Added a 4 week January term (which includes a required course on Legal Process)

17 Detroit-Mercy 1L added a “core concepts” course focusing on statutory interpretation/analysis 2L required live client experience (clinic or externship) and required course in International or Comparative Law) Writing across the curriculum (in all required classes) 3L virtual law firm (students must work in two different law firms)

18 Franklin-Pierce Practice-focused 1L Legal Writing program Daniel Webster Honors Curriculum – Take DWH courses, including: Pretrial advocacy, trial advocacy, negotiations, a mini-series that exposes them to family law, law office management, commercial paper, conflicts of laws, business transactions, and a capstone course. – Requires 6 credit hours of clinical or externship experience – Requires minimum of 12 pro-bono hours – Successful completion, plus passage of MPRE and character/fitness qualifies for NH bar admission

19 Georgetown 1L: Offers alternative curriculum (for some entering students) that emphasizes international law and regulation, combines subjects, and includes multi-disciplinary reading, Law in a Global Context: one week required course for all 1Ls on a transnational, experiential learning problem; elective in either international/transnational law or administrative/regulatory law. Upper division: experiential courses, with a seminar and two- credit work experience in a related public interest or government organization (an innocence project, animal law and litigation, local government lawyering, election law, death penalty litigation); faculty-student colloquia in which students participate in critiquing faculty papers and writing papers of their own

20 Washington and Lee 3L curriculum is entirely experiential (law practice simulations, real-client experience); there are no other 3L courses Two-week immersion course at start of each semester (office and transactional practice skills, litigation and conflict resolution skills) Year-long professionalism program (includes practicing lawyers/judges) Variety of practicum courses: simulations, team work, problem solving – array of subjects: tax, family, environmental, criminal, employment, IP, estate planning, media law, crcl

21 William Mitchell Three semester required skills sequence integrates legal writing and research with interviewing, client counseling, negotiation, trial skills, and appellate argument. Pathways (post first-year online curricular and career planning tool for students see use-pathways.asp use-pathways.asp Keystone Courses (capstone providing bridge from law school to practice)

22 Why now? Why make changes now, when our bar pass rate and admissions data are good? – Profession is changing and we need to change so our students can keep up and excel – Pressure from legal education (ABA standards changing) and the bar (OSBA and Ohio S. Ct.) – ABA site visit is 2 ½ years away and we need to show progress towards these values – Recent successes are in part because we’ve been improving, so we need to keep moving

23 Conclusions Key Q: What’s the best curricular path for our students at this time? What will help them leave CM with stronger practice skills and a better sense of themselves as professionals – Wide variety of options – No fixed agenda: open to all thoughts/ideas – Process well under way, and always eager for input


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