Describing the Ball: Improve Teaching by Using Rubrics—Explicit Grading Criteria

Document Type

Law Review Article

Publication Date



educational psychology and metacognition


Assessment is crucial to effective teaching and learning. Carnegie's Educating Lawyers and Roy Stuckey's Best Practices for Legal Education emphasize the importance of assessment. This article explains how detailed, written grading criteria describing what students should learn and how they will be evaluated should be a central part of law teachers' assessment plans. The article details how rubrics can improve law student learning, and contains both detailed, step-by-step directions on creating rubrics and examples of rubrics from many different law school courses.