With the shift in American Bar Association (ABA) accreditation standards to emphasize learning outcomes, all law schools will be slowly moving away from structure-and-process based legal education (exposure to specific content for specified periods of time, such as a four credit one semester contracts course) to competency-based legal education (focus on the ultimate competencies needed for excellent service to the clients and the legal system, such as competence in career-long professional development). A large number of law schools are adopting what the next section of this Article defines as competency-based professional-formation or ethical- professional-identity learning outcomes. The specific focus of this Article is on versions of the professional-formation learning outcome that each student should demonstrate understanding and integration of responsibility for continually self-evaluating the student's own professional development toward excellence. These professional -formation learning outcomes will require a law school to design a curriculum, including assessments, to help each student develop toward the learning outcomes. ABA Accreditation Standard 314 requires:
A law school shall [use] both formative and summative assessment methods in its curriculum to measure and improve student learning and provide meaningful feedback to students . . . . Formative assessment methods are measurements at different points during a particular course or at different points over the span of a student's education that provide meaningful feedback to improve student learning. Summative assessment methods are measurements at the culmination of a particular course or at the culmination of any part of a student's legal education that measure the degree of student learning.
This Article analyzes "off-the-shelf' formative assessments that provide meaningful feedback to improve student learning on a professionalformation learning outcome that each student should demonstrate understanding and integration of responsibility for continually self-evaluating the student's own professional development toward excellence. "Off-the-shelf' refers to ready-made, standardized formative assessments that a professor could use with respect to these learning outcomes.
"Off-The-Shelf Formative Assessments to Help Each Student Develop Toward a Professional Formation/Ethical Professional Identity Learning Outcome of an Internalized Commitment to the Student's Own Professional Development,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 68:
3, Article 9.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol68/iss3/9