Header graphic for print
IAALS Online National Conversations About Continuous Improvement of the American legal System

Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

The Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Initiative serves to advance innovation in legal education in order to train new lawyers to the highest standards of competence and professionalism.

Subscribe to Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers RSS Feed

Alli Gerkman on Getting Law Schools and Students “Ahead of the Curve”

Zachary Willis Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, Featured

Law Week Colorado recently published an article highlighting Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers‘ report, Ahead of the Curve: Turning Law Students into Lawyers, which examines the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program at the University of New Hampshire School of Law. The collaboration exemplified by the program will pave the way for more successful innovations in legal education, according to Alli Gerkman.

First Ever Evaluation of Experiential Law School Program Proves Graduates Are “Ahead of the Curve”

Robert Thompson Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, Featured, Press Release

Are law school graduates ready to enter the profession, engage in the practice, and serve clients? Many law schools have developed more robust experiential training in recent years. One such program is educating law students who are outperforming their colleagues in the field who have been licensed to practice law for up to two years, according to a study conducted by Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers.

Deadline for Grants to Improve Legal Education Is January 31

Alli Gerkman Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Those of you who attended our conference last fall probably had a chance to talk with Elise Miller, Vice President of Research Programs at Access Group, who has been developing their new grant-making program that will support projects and research that aim to address the challenges facing legal education today. The deadline is January 31 for schools interested in applying for a grant through the unsolicited grants program.

Legal Employers Have a Critical Role to Play in Improving Legal Education

Alli Gerkman Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, Featured, Informed Opinions

ETL is about to release its first major report—a study of the Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program. The report is not even public yet, but it was already highlighted in the Wall Street Journal and criticized at Above the Law. Ultimately, if law schools are going to develop programs that better prepare students and if prospective students are going to rely on those programs, then legal employers must value them. And, we’re working on ways to help ensure that happens.

Jon Streeter Confirmed to California Court of Appeal

Rebecca Love Kourlis Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, Featured, News

We would like to extend our congratulations to Jon Streeter for his confirmation to California’s First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco. He was sworn in on January 5. Jon has been a friend to IAALS for several years, working closely with Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers. We are thrilled for him—and we look forward to seeing how his new perspective in the judicial branch informs his insights and leadership in legal education, and the evolution of the profession more broadly.

New Year, New Logo as ETL Honors Collaboration in Legal Education Reform

Alli Gerkman Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, Featured

It’s been almost three-and-a-half years since we launched Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers. In that time, we have played a critical role in bringing the profession and the academy together to work toward collaborative solutions that will raise not only the institution of legal education, but also the legal profession. We are beginning 2015 with the launch of a new logo that captures this convergence and the many people who will play a role in this process.

When Law Schools and Students Fill the Justice Gap, Is Everyone Served?

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Like the United States, the United Kingdom has historically faced a lack of legal representation for low income individuals. The apparent lack of resources in both countries has highlighted a perceived remedy: law students working with those in need of legal services. While many people view this solution as beneficial for society, law schools, and students, others have warned against law schools taking up the slack because students still need an opportunity to learn.

Professional Formation: What Legal Employers Look for in New Lawyers

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Professor Neil W. Hamilton of the University of St. Thomas School of Law recently published an article that analyzes empirical research on the competencies that legal employers and clients are looking for in new lawyers. For the article, Professor Hamilton surveyed four types of employers: larger law firms, small firms, county attorneys, and legal aid offices. He found all four groups highly valued certain competencies, dubbing them “professional formation competencies.”

Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers at LSSSE Symposium on Data and Assessment in Legal Education

Zachary Willis Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

This Thursday and Friday, November 6-7, 2014, the Law School Survey of Student Engagement’s (LSSSE) “Data and Assessment in Legal Education: The Necessities, The Possibilities” symposium will be held at Saint Louis University School of Law. Alli Gerkman, Director of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, will be presenting on a panel about “Using Data to Demonstrate and Improve the Value of Legal Education.”

Ten Lessons Law Schools Can Learn from Other Educational Programs in Evaluating Their Curriculum

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Professor Debra Moss Curtis has published an article calling for legal educators to look at other programs in higher education, as well as experts who study education, as guidance when considering reform within legal education. The article outlines suggestions that “should be considered by every institution,” many of which align with the mission, work, and recommendations of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers.

Judge Arguello on a Diverse and Inclusive Legal Profession: Si Se Puede

Zachary Willis Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

“Big dreams, hard work, and serendipity” are the words Judge Christine M. Arguello would use to describe how she achieved her professional successes as a lawyer and judge. But, she also acknowledges the help of various mentors and the support of academic institutions throughout her career. In order to help the next generation, Judge Arguello founded Law School – Si Se Puede, a pipeline program that advances inclusiveness in the legal profession.

Achieving the ABA’s Pedagogy Mandate, with a Focus on Assessment

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Law Professor Cara Cunningham Warren has written a paper about “Achieving the American Bar Association’s Pedagogy Mandate.” In order for professors to meet with ABA expectations, they will have to come up with new approaches to assessing student learning—something that was recently discussed the 2014 Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Conference.

Follow Our 2014 #ETLConference Online, Covering Assessment in Legal Education

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, Featured

This Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (September 18-20), I will be attending the 3rd Annual Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Conference, which will focus on “Accelerating Competency: Assessment in Legal Education.” I’ll be keeping you updated throughout each day with live tweets on conference happenings and discussions taking place—so even if you can’t join us, you can follow along online using hashtag #ETLConference.

Teaching Practical Legal Skills in a Strictly Classroom Setting

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Chad G. Asarch recently wrote an article discussing the Real Estate Transactions course he teaches, which emphasizes practical legal skills in a non-clinical, traditional classroom setting. In contemplating the structure of the course, Asarch analyzed the actual work practicing lawyers undertake in representing a client in a real estate transaction, and class assignments were designed to make students perform these tasks.

‘Foundations for Practice’ Gaining Momentum—and Support

Alli Gerkman Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

In May, we launched Foundations for Practice, an ambitious project that will study the foundations entry-level lawyers need to launch successful careers, identify models of legal education to get us there, and develop hiring tools to help employers better match their needs with their hiring practices. This summer we also added a new member to the ETL team. Kevin Keyes is joining us as a Project Manager, working with us and our many partners on the first phase of the project.

Foundations for Practice Aims to Redefine Legal Education

Zachary Willis Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®, Featured

Law Week Colorado recently published an article detailing the launch of Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers’ Foundations for Practice project. The goal of the project is to give law schools more information about the skills, competencies, characteristics, and traits—referred to as “foundations”—that real-world practitioners say graduates need to be successful. Once these foundations are identified, law schools can then incorporate them more fully.

Multi-Stage ADR Simulation Resources Collected and Shared by ETL Fellow

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Professor and ETL Fellow John Lande of the University of Missouri School of Law has helped bring together a new collection of resources for law school professors who teach Alternative Dispute Resolution or who use ADR simulations in their classes. The website is intended to be a place where professors can learn about multi-stage simulations while sharing their own ideas and experiences using them.

Mercer and Vanderbilt Honored for Professionalism Programs

Zachary Willis Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

The ABA recently honored Mercer University Walter F. George School of Law and Vanderbilt University Law School, both Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Consortium schools, with their 2014 E. Smythe Gambrell Professionalism Awards. The award recognizes excellence and innovation in professionalism programs by law schools, bar associations, professionalism commissions, and other law-related organizations.

A Case Study on Experiential Education through Community-Based Project

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Professor Ann C. Hodges, University of Richmond Law School, has published an article on Using Experiential Education to Develop Human Resources for the Nonprofit Community: A Course Study Analysis. The paper analyzes a course in Nonprofit Organizations that incorporates a community-based project, and can serve as a resource for other professors interested in implementing experiential education models.

Preparing Law Students for Practice Using Problem-Solving

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Many advocates for legal education reform state that the traditional Socratic lecture model in law schools must be supplemented by experiential learning. Professor Kathleen Elliott Vinson of Suffolk University Law School, an Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Consortium school, recently published a paper advocating for experiential learning through a curriculum that emphasizes problem-solving.

A Primer on Professionalism for Doctrinal Professors

Zachary Willis Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

A recently published a paper, entitled “A Primer on Professionalism for Doctrinal Professors,” discusses how and why doctrinal professors should incorporate attorney professionalism into their curriculum. Professor Schaefer offers guidance in developing course outcomes that connect legal subject matter with issues of professionalism and methods for doing so.

Consortium Schools Among Best Part-Time Law School Programs for Practical Training

Riley Combelic Posted in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers®

Last month, preLaw Magazine released its list of best practical training schools for part-time students. preLaw considered 97 part-time programs, all having 20 or more students, and 22 were selected for the magazine’s top honors. Four Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers Consortium schools were named to the list: Georgetown, Hofstra, Loyola Chicago, and the University of Maryland.