Legal Education Blog

This blog addresses pre-law, law school and post-law school particularly bar passage. It addresses diversity and social justice issues in legal education and the law

You Can outperform your LSAT score and Pass the Bar the first time!

This editorial "Law school up to Bar?" asserts that " Student success on the bar exam is a major indication of the quality of a legal education".
 
It perpetuate the myth that passing the bar is about the quality of school attended. Wrong. All legal education is essentially the same quality - one or two exams a semester; No instruction on how to pass the exam; professors who essentially all graduated from a first or second tier school; the same casebooks, etc. The quality of education does not explain the difference.
 
What does?
 
Existing test taking ability. Students in top tier schools have demonstrated test- taking skills and the failure of legal education does not affect their performance. Most students who are third or fourth tier schools, have lower LSAT performance - that is demonstrate problems with standardized test-taking. Unfortunately, law schools do very little to change the students test taking ability.
 
Test-taking ability can be changed. I know this because I trained students for 20 years who had lower than average LSAT (poor test-taking skills) who out perform their LSAT both in their performance in law school and their performance on the bar exam.
 
Make no mistake test-taking ability is a learned skilled that can be changed. But the path to changing is NOT through taking a traditional LSAT course or Bar passage course (although that is helpful). We will write about this in another posting
 
http://marquettewire.org/3942200/opinion/law-school-up-to-bar/
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More than 25% of law students have had psychiatric and substance-use disorders; are they hiding it?

This is nothing new.

25 years ago, when I first started teaching there was a significant study that showed that law students had more diagnosable mental health issues than either medical students or graduate students. Further, the study determined that unlike their graduate counterpart most law students mental health issues were directly related to law school. For many, the stresses that occur in law school can seem unmanageable if one is not adequately prepared for the demands of law school. This is not an intellectual issue. Law school is not hard because the material is inherently difficult. Law school is hard because there is so much at stake and, only 1 or two exams a semester, and no specific instructions on how to do well. How to study effectively, how to write law school exams are not taught. Furthermore, few schools have pre-matriculation summer bridge activities. I f you are admitted to a school that has one - attend. Otherwise, participate in quality summer bridge activities. You would not go to school in a foreign country and expect to do well without learning the language and the culture. Don't risk your mental health or your academic performance because you failed to fully understand the law school language and culture.

For the recent Study in the ABAJournal see: http://www.abajournal.com/mobile/article/more_than_25_of_law_students_have_had_psychiatric_and_substance_use_disorde

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Seek and Ye Shall Find

If you are in law school, you already know; research is the name of the game. And, in legal research, time is literally money. Dan Russell is a search guru at Google, he runs the SearchReSearch blog; a fantastic resource for refining your online research skills. He is offering a free MOOC starting February 8. Info about the course can be found here. Even though the blog and the course focus on using Google, the skills are definitely transfereable and improving them now will save you time in your classes, and money for your clients.

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