QEP Fact Sheet
SULC’S QEP FACT SHEET
- In an effort to identify a method of improving student learning outcomes, SULC sought input and/or feedback from its constituents and reviewed its program of legal education.
- SULC’s constituents include, students, faculty, staff, alumni, and employers.
- SULC determined, in concert with reviews and discussions involving its constituents in evaluating SULC’s program of legal education, that improving student analytical skills would have a positive impact on student learning outcomes.
- SULC sought proposals on how best to improve student learning outcomes by improving analytical skills.
- A proposal was received for a modified legal writing course with particular focus and emphasis on analysis and problem solving.
- Specifically, the proposal was to cease the traditional method of teaching analytical skills in the writing course which historically has used the production of legal documents, such as client letters, trial memoranda, and/or appellate briefs to teach, among other things, analytical skills. Instead, the proposal suggested, that by exposing students to shorter and more diverse analytical exercises and connecting the skills developed in those exercises to writing essay exam answers, SULC could improve the analytical skills of its students.
- A blind pilot program was conducted over a three-semester period where one section of the Evening Division’s Legal Analysis & Writing courses (pilot group) was taught differently from other section of Legal Analysis & Writing course (control group).
- The program was a blind pilot because students were not informed of the pilot program nor were students told about an effort to assess whether there was a more effective way to teach them analytical skills.
- Instead, SULC created a marketing program where the slogan “Analysis Matters” was adopted and marketed to students regarding the benefits of developing strong analytical skills while in law school.
- Every area of SULC developed specific marketing strategies where the slogan was used and presented to students.
- The students in both the pilot and control groups were assessed in their doctrinal courses and evaluated to determine the level of development of the students’ analytical skills.
- A review of the data collected revealed the pilot group (the one exposed to a different method of teaching analytical skills) performed slightly better in the area of analysis than the control group.
- Therefore, the faculty, by a majority vote, approved the implementation of the previously piloted modified Legal Analysis & Writing course across the entire first-year class beginning in 2020.
- Data will continue to be collected to determine how the analytical skills of students are being developed.