50 years of assessment in legal education

by Paul Maharg on 29/01/2015

This is a conference hosted by the Association of Law Teachers at the Institute for Advanced Legal Studies, today, and part of their 50th anniversary celebrations (there’s a 50 Years of Legal Education conference later in the year), which are looking back as well as looking forward to the future(s) of legal education.  Maybe it’s just the winter dark, but I can’t seem to see further forward than three months or so, let alone 10 years or 50.  Chapter five of Transforming Legal Education, entitled ‘Codex to Codecs: The Medieval Web’, described parallels between legal educational practices centred around glossed manuscripts in the  thirteenth century, and contemporary post-book web practices.  The final concluding chapter, drawing on Goethe’s resonant notion of elective affinities to describe the relationship between four critical educational concepts, was entitled, ‘Afterword: Elective Affinities – Experience, Ethics, Technology, Collaboration’, and ended with an attempt at futurology, a hubristic description of legal education in 2047, 40 years in the future.  There was a lot of sci-fi in it, with lengthy paratext in footnotes on how the future had come to be so wonderful (or awful, depending on your point of view).

So when Julian and I were asked by Alison Bone to kick off the proceedings, and asked to think about past as well as future, I thought of that timescale; but since we have 30 mins rather than 350+ pages, and since you’ll have noticed from this blog that it takes me 5,000 words to draw breath, you’ll see from the slides over on the Slides tab above that we’ve limited ourselves to fairly recent past and cautiously near future.  We’ll hear from conference participants, no doubt, if we’ve got either or neither right…  Our title gives our theme – ‘Of tails and dogs: Standards, standardisation and innovation in assessment’ – and we’ll be making the point that this applies to legal education in most if not all common law jurisdictions.  Comments welcome, as always.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

Follow me on Academia.edu