Oregon Law Review
In 2007, two very influential institutes published reports that challenged legal educators to reconsider how they design courses, deliver instruction, assess their students’ learning and explore new ways to prepare students for the profession of law. The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching published its report, Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law (“Carnegie Report”), and the Clinical Legal Education Association published its study, Best Practices for Legal Education (“Best Practices Report”) (collectively, the “Reports”). Both Reports came to the same conclusion: law schools must devote more attention and resources to helping students develop the professional skills they will need in practice.
Therefore, the Reports urged law schools to integrate formal knowledge and the experience of practice into their instruction as a means of achieving the core goal of developing students’ competence—that is, their ability “to resolve legal problems effectively and responsibly.” They also exhorted law schools to graduate law students who possess strong intellectual and analytical skills and other “attributes of effective, responsible lawyers.” Among those attributes, law students should demonstrate practical judgment and the ability to collaborate effectively; express a genuine sensitivity to the racial, cultural, and socio-economic diversity of law practice; and be dedicated to lifelong learning through reflection and mentoring.