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ERIC Number: ED528392
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004
Pages: 20
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
Student Engagement in Law Schools: A First Look. Annual Survey Results, 2004
Law School Survey of Student Engagement
The Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE) documents dimensions of quality in legal education and provides information and assistance to law schools and other organizations to improve student learning. LSSSE annually surveys law students to assess the extent to which they engage in educational practices associated with high levels of learning and development. This paper presents findings from the first annual LSSSE. More than 13,000 law students from 42 law schools filled out the LSSSE survey in spring 2004. Promising findings include: (1) About 4 in 5 (82%) law students rated their law school experience "good" or "excellent," and a similar number (79%) would "probably" or "definitely" attend the same law school; (2) Two-thirds (68%) of law students spent more than 20 hours per week preparing for class, and 87% came to class with their readings or assignments completed; (3) Almost 9 in 10 (88%) students said their law school, to a substantial degree, emphasizes studying and spending time on academic work; (4) Three-fourths (76%) of students indicated their school placed a substantial degree of emphasis ("very much" or "quite a bit") on the ethical practice of the law; (5) Most students (94%) were "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with the library assistance at their law school; (6) Four-fifths of students had, or plan to have, a clinical internship or field experience while in law school; (7) About 74% of law students frequently ("very often" or "often") integrated ideas from various sources into papers or projects; (8) More than four-fifths (82%) of law students reported that their classes placed a substantial amount of emphasis ("quite a bit" or "very much") on applying theories or concepts to practical problems; (9) Part-time law students viewed their campus environment as equally supportive as their full-time counterparts; (10) More than half (56%) of students frequently ("often" or "very often") had serious conversations with students from different racial and ethnic backgrounds; and (11) Almost all students (96%) at least occasionally asked questions in class or contributed to class discussions. Disappointing findings include: (1) About one-third (32%) of students never discussed ideas from their classes or readings with a faculty member outside of class; (2) More than half (56%) of 3L and 4L students had not participated in volunteer or pro bono work in law school; (3) About 1 in 5 students (18%) say they "never" get prompt written or oral feedback from faculty members; (4) More than half (56%) of students reported that they will incur $60,000 or more of educational debt by the time they graduate from law school; (5) About 6 in 10 (63%) students said their law school gives little emphasis to providing the support needed for a successful employment search; and (6) Half of students are "unsatisfied" or "very unsatisfied" with the job search help and career counseling their law school provides. A list of notes is included. (Contains 5 tables and 4 figures.)
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