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ERIC Number: ED528384
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 28
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Engaging Legal Education: Moving beyond the Status Quo. Annual Survey Results, 2006
Law School Survey of Student Engagement
The Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) documents dimensions of quality in legal education and provides information about law student participation in effective educational activities that law schools and other organizations can use to improve student learning. Since its inception in 2003, more than 64,000 law students at 111 different law schools have responded to the Law School Survey of Student Engagement. The questions focus on activities related to learning in the law school context. The results show how law students use their time, what they think about their experience, and what law schools can do to improve engagement and learning. This paper presents findings from the third annual LSSSE. Promising findings include: (1) Almost half (48%) of all respondents frequently ("often" or "very often") contributed to class discussions or asked questions in class; (2) Four in five students said that their coursework substantially emphasized ("quite a bit" or "very much") applying theories or concepts to practical problems or new situations; (3) More than half (51%) of law student respondents said they frequently worked harder than they thought they could to meet the expectations of a faculty member; (4) Three in five students frequently had serious conversations with students of a different race or ethnicity; (5) Nearly 30% of all respondents frequently collaborated with other students outside of class to prepare assignments. More than four in five students (84%) collaborated with their peers to prepare assignments at least occasionally; (6) Nearly two in three students (65%) frequently talked about ideas or concepts from their courses with others outside of the classroom; (7) More than four in five law students said that their school strongly emphasized ("quite a bit" or "very much") spending significant amounts of time on school and academic work; and (8) Over three quarters of the first-year students who participated in pro bono or volunteer work did so without receiving academic credit. Disappointing findings include: (1) Nearly a third of 3L respondents (32%) reported that they had not done any pro bono or volunteer work during law school, and had no plans to do so; (2) About 15% of 1Ls and one quarter (24%) of 2Ls "never" received prompt feedback from faculty members; (3) Three quarters (77%) of 3Ls spent no time during the week on legal pro bono work not required for class; (4) One in three 3Ls (31%) spent fewer than eleven hours per week reading and preparing for class; (5) More than a third of all law students spent no time during the week participating in law-school sponsored organizations such as clubs, journal, committees, moot court, etc; (6) One in four 1Ls (26%) "never" used job search assistance at their law school; (7) Of those students at U.S. law schools who have incurred debt related to their legal education, 75% will owe more than $60,000; and (8) More than two thirds (67%) of those students who wish to work for public interest organizations after law school will owe more than $60,000 upon graduation. A list of resources is included. (Contains 4 tables, 7 figures and 4 footnotes.) [For "The Law School Years: Probing Questions, Actionable Data. Annual Survey Results, 2005," see ED528393.
Law School Survey of Student Engagement. Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research, 1900 East 10th Street Suite 419, Bloomington, IN 47406. Tel: 812-856-5824; Fax: 812-856-5150; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Indiana University, Law School Survey of Student Engagement