Learning by Doing: An Experience with Outcomes Assessment

Document Type

Law Review Article

Publication Date



assessment, learning-theory, educational-psychology, legal-education


An emphasis on assessment and outcomes measures is a drum beat that is growing louder in American legal education. Prompted initially by the demands of regional university accreditation bodies, the attention paid to outcomes assessment is now growing with the forecast that the ABA will revise its accreditation standards to incorporate outcomes measures. For the past three years, the University of Pittsburgh School of Law has been developing a system for assessing the learning outcomes of its students. By describing our experience here at Pitt Law, with both its high and low points, we hope to suggest some helpful pointers for other law schools as they work to develop systems for assessing whether they are accomplishing institutional goals related to student learning.