The 2011 Law School Survey of Student Engagement

January 10th, 2012

The Law School Survey of Student Engagement has released its 2011 Annual Survey Results:

The selected results reported in this section are based on responses from more than 33,000 law students at 95 law schools in the U.S. and Canada who completed LSSSE in spring 2011. We also draw upon responses to a set of experimental questions appended to the survey and given to a subset of the 2011 respondents.

The results presented in this report represent just a small sampling of the information LSSSE collects each year. In addition to the three themes featured on the following pages, LSSSE data let us learn more about how certain law school programs, practices, and curricular efforts relate to student success and student engagement; changes in the law school experience from year to year; how various types of students experience law school; and much more. These findings can yield important lessons about the law school experience writ large, and, at the school-level, about the experiences of students in the classroom and the wider school environment. Below, we highlight just a few results to provide a better idea of the breadth of issues that LSSSE data can inform.

A few highlights (lowlights?).

Students are not prepared to work in groups:

On the question of learning to work in teams and with non-lawyers, fewer than one-third (28%) of students surveyed reported frequently working with other students on projects during class, much less working with non-lawyers or support personnel, and 24% reported never working together on projects during class. This is not surprising; law schools have tended to stress working alone so as to grade students on their own work. Ultimately, however, preparation of future lawyers is likely to diminish the role of grading convenience and accentuate the role
of helpful experience.

H/T TaxProf