“Think [And Practice] Like a Lawyer: Legal Research for the New Millennials”

August 31st, 2011

A new article about teaching legal research to the next generation of law students:

It is time to heed the calls for legal education reform. In our changing economy, new attorneys need to be properly trained in law school to be competent at providing effective legal services for their employers and clients. Law schools must remain open to and interested in legal reform; they must partner with practitioners to incorporate more practical skills into the law school curriculum. Updating how we teach legal research by making it accord more with how attorneys actually conduct and use legal research in practice will help accomplish this and will also more actively engage our Millennial students. There is no question that making some timely changes to legal research instruction would better prepare new attorneys to be competent practicing lawyers and would be a win-win for students, law schools and employers.

From the article:

Teaching methods also need updating to meet the need of the new breed of law student. Generation Y, or Millennials,10 are the first students raised with technology as a major component in their lives.11 Some have described these students as special, sheltered, confident, team-oriented, conventional, pressured, and achieving.12 They are also ambitious, demanding, and they question everything.13 Old teaching techniques do not work for Millennials. These law students have a new set of skills and priorities, and they demand a new approach to teaching, career planning, grading, and feedback. Rather than a teacher-centered approach to education,Millennials require a learning-centered approach in which the student, not the teacher, is the focus.14