Law schools are criticized for graduating students who lack the skills necessary to practice law. Legal research is a foundational ability necessary to support lawyering competency. The American Bar Association (ABA) establishes standards for legal education that include a requirement that each law student receive substantial instruction in legal skills, including legal research. Despite the recognized importance of legal research in legal education, there is no consensus of what to teach as part of a legal research course or even how to teach such a course.
Legal educators struggle to address these issues. The practicing bar and judiciary have expressed concerns about law school graduates ability to conduct legal research. Studies have been conducted detailing the poor research ability of law students and their lack of skills. Although deficiencies in law student research skills have been identified, there is no agreement as to how to remediate these deficiencies. This dissertation suggests the legal research resources that should be taught in law schools by identifying the research resources used by practicing attorneys and comparing them to those resources currently included in legal research instruction at the 202 ABA-accredited law schools.
Multiple data sources were used in this study. Practitioner resource information was based on data provided by practicing attorneys responding to the 2013 ABA Legal Technology Survey. Resources taught in ABA-accredited law schools were identified through three sources: a 2014 law school legal research survey sent to the 202 ABA-accredited law schools, a review of law school syllabi from ABA-accredited law school legal research and legal research and writing courses, and the Association of Legal Writing Directors 2013 annual survey of legal research and writing faculty. The combined data from these three sources were compared to the resources used by practicing lawyers identified in the annual national 2013 ABA Legal Technology Survey. This comparison of what is taught with what is used in practice identifies a deficiency in law school instruction in the research resources used by practicing attorneys. These survey results detail distinct areas of inadequate instruction in legal research resources and provide legal educators with detailed information necessary to develop a curriculum that will result in graduating students with practice-ready competencies.
|Commitee:||Harbaugh, Joseph D., Littman, Marilyn K.|
|School:||Nova Southeastern University|
|Department:||Computing Technology in Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Law, Education Policy, Social studies education, Educational technology, Higher education|
|Keywords:||Legal education, Legal research|
Copyright in each Dissertation and Thesis is retained by the author. All Rights Reserved
The supplemental file or files you are about to download were provided to ProQuest by the author as part of a
dissertation or thesis. The supplemental files are provided "AS IS" without warranty. ProQuest is not responsible for the
content, format or impact on the supplemental file(s) on our system. in some cases, the file type may be unknown or
may be a .exe file. We recommend caution as you open such files.
Copyright of the original materials contained in the supplemental file is retained by the author and your access to the
supplemental files is subject to the ProQuest Terms and Conditions of use.
Depending on the size of the file(s) you are downloading, the system may take some time to download them. Please be