Future Ed 2: Making Global Lawyers for the 21st Century – Proposals for reform Professional Development Proposals

by Paul Maharg on 16/10/2010

Good introduction by Elizabeth Chambless — feasibility, impact? These were defined as essential for the success of the proposals.  Not all proposals presented are summarised below.  All of them are interesting, though, and can be found on the NYLS web site here.

Proposals started with Bucerius Education GmBh — a new plan for legal education. a type of executive education to be offered by law schools, developed along business school models.  Nice design, thinking from competencies upwards, right up to international co-operation with other business schools in other parts of the world.  Site here.

Christine Mooney (Villanova University School of Law) and Rachel Littman (Pace Law School) argued well for new partnerships between law schools and the profession.  Really good detailed design, and well-thought out relationships with local firms.  

David Oppenheimer and Kristen Holmquist (University of California Berkeley School of Law), on law school admissions –defined 26 competencies of effective lawyers — from reasoning to empathy — and then designed tests that would test them.  The LSAT and this is very interesting, correlates negatively with at least 3 of the competencies; and only tests 3 others.  What the LSAT predicted, this test predicted better.  And without the race bias of the LSAT.  Very interesting — but still, isn't this test, like the LSAT, only a snapshot in time, even with prediction results?  To be discussed later…

Emily Spieler, Susan Maze Rothstein, Martha Davis (Northeastern University School of Law) — fascinating curriculum based on field work and academic work, with field work in 'law offices'.  School has strong liaison with local practitioners.  In law offices students learn legal writing and social justice community projects, students working as teams with advising attorneys.  Also — links with MBA students under diretion of MBA faculty joins the team to move it forward with teamwork and leadership content.

Tina Stark (Emory University School of Law); Eric Chaffee (University of Dayton School of Law) — very good on transactional learning.

David Wilkins and Cory Way (Harvard Law School) — Cory described interesting liaison with HLS on cradle to grave

 Next session was the technology session where John Garvey and I are presenting.  With quickfire presentations full of amazing ideas, it's not possible to summarise interesting stuff, so you'll just have to read the stuff on the NYLS site and I'll note down what I can

Oliver Goodenough, Mike McCann, and Rebecca Purdom (Vermont Law School) — arguing for DL as a sophisticated way forward.  

David Johnson — great simulation presentation– micro-law practice simulation, based on Q & A.  Not a MCQ — no right or wrong answers, just results; and there are explanations re unanticipated outcomes.  Has a great authoring system.  Small granularity, usable authoring system, and they're exploring other modalities as well card games and augmented multiple choice.

Next session, on structural, regulatory proposals.  Michele DeStefano Beardslee (University of Miami School of Law) talked of the Law Without Walls initiative.  Students from different universities globally are teamed up and do creative idea generation, on legal practice or legal education. Rather loud prezzi…

James Moliterno — arguing for experiential learning — great plans, on a level with all of James' work in legal education.  

Many other projects were presented, but yr intrepid correspondent was going brain-dead at all the amazing flood of ideas coming off the floor.  Last night Dean Minow said one way to sabotage an initiative was to mix brainstorming with critical analysis — wise advice.  What we had this morning was 4 hours (who says conferences are jollies…) hours of solid presentations, to be followed (I hope) this afternoon by discussion panels that will analyse, discuss, and help us learn more about some of these brilliant ideas.  Go to the NYLS page and read the brief summaries if you can.  They exhibit the real hard thinking, planning and implementation that's being done in many US law schools, and for anyone involved in legal education in the UK, most of them present great topics for taking forward legal education there as well.

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