NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED520644
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 240
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-6539-7
Raising the Bar: A Qualitative Study of Adult Learning Theory and Its Role on the Effectiveness of Law School Education in Preparing New Graduates to Begin the Practice of Law
Taylor, Bryan Finley
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Idaho
This qualitative research study examined the effectiveness of law school education in preparing new attorneys to practice law from the view point of novice criminal law attorneys. A debate has existed over the past few decades between legal academia and the practicing bar as to what are the most effective learning processes and strategies of preparing students to begin practicing law. The literature suggests that the view point of new attorneys, those impacted the most, has not been heard. Data were collected from personal interviews, field notes, and from Motion to Suppress pleadings to learn about the participants' view of their law school education and their transformations into practicing lawyers. These three sources of data provided triangulation. An analysis was conducted with data collected from nine attorneys from seven law schools. The study found several major themes concerning how new attorneys practicing criminal law viewed their law school learning processes. Findings indicated that the purpose of law school education was to train attorneys minds how to think like an attorney not to do like an attorney. Participants valued their education because it prepared them to think like an attorney, but felt more experiential opportunities were needed for the practice of law or the doing like an attorney. Most law schools do not provide enough experiential opportunities for students. The personality of the professor also played an important factor in the retention of knowledge and the development of skills. When new attorneys begin the practice of law they discovered that transformative learning of the knowledge and skills they learned in law school took place in two different ways: Ah-ha moments, those revolutionary moments that happen instantaneously, and the slow evolutionary process where the information starts to make sense over a period of time. All of these findings were confirmed from the personal interviews, field notes and the Motions to Suppress. This study concludes with recommendations regarding law school curriculum reform to incorporate andragogy as a strategy for effective teaching and learning, and provides recommendations for further studies. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A