ERIC Number: ED240149
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-May
Reference Count: 0
Measuring Legal Research Skills on a Bar Examination.
Klein, Stephen P.
Based on the importance for newly licensed attorneys to conduct legal research, this study assessed the relationship between bar exam scores and scores on a test designed to measure certain important legal research skills. It also investigated whether differences in performance level among racial groups on the Research Test paralleled differences among these groups on the bar exam and whether Research Test scores were related to an applicant's legal training and experience. The 1785 California applicants for the July 1980 bar exam were assigned randomly to one of three research problems. The three groups had essentially identical average Multistate Bar Examination (MBE) and essay scores. Each two part problem consisting of 195 minutes of test time focused on the ability to integrate information in the context of a realistic case situation. The correlation between the total score on the Research Test and the total score on the regular bar exam (MBE and essay) were almost as strong as the correlation between the MBE and essay portions of the regular exam. Racial/ethnic groups score differences were almost identical on the Research Test and MBE. Experience practicing law (actual or simulated) resulted in higher scores on the Research Test than those applicants with no such experience. (PN)
Descriptors: Certification, Comparative Analysis, Essay Tests, Higher Education, Law Students, Multiple Choice Tests, Professional Education, Racial Differences, Research Skills, Scores, Test Construction
The Rand Corporation, 1700 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90406 ($4.00).
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA.
Identifiers: Legal Research; Multistate Bar Examination
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).