Diversity and Inclusion in Law School and Higher Education

Title

A Survey Instrument to Develop, Tailor, and Help Measure Law Student Cultural Diversity Education Learning Outcomes

Document Type

Law Review Article

Publication Date

1-2014

Keywords

cultural competence, legal education, diversity, law faculty

Abstract

Legal education reformers are increasingly focused on an outcome-oriented approach to legal education. Law school accreditors are poised to adopt learning outcomes standards requiring each law school to dentify the knowledge, attitudes, and skills its law graduates should possess. Among the skills suggested for inclusion in law school learning outcomes is the ability to work effectively across cultures. Despite the importance of cultural competence for effective legal practice, law schools have not yet developed a systematic method for helping students develop awareness of how cultural perspectives shape lawyer-client interactions, affect transactions, and influence the development of the law. This article identifies ways law schools might conceptualize learning outcomes that will enhance law students’ abilities to effectively represent clients in today’s multicultural world and global legal environment. It provides legal educators with a statistically valid and reliable survey instrument developed to help identify, and potentially measure, some of those learning outcomes. It discusses the survey design and findings. Finally, this article suggests several ways our survey instrument and research can help legal educators conceptualize ways to integrate the inclusion of cultural sensibility learning and learning outcomes into the law school curricula.

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