A A Email Print Share

Writing Conference Tackles the Academically Underprepared Law Student

Nearly 100 legal writing professors, bar preparation faculty, academic success instructors, librarians, academic advisors and administrators from universities and law schools around the country will be on hand to discuss and hear about potential solutions to an issue of increasing concern to many.

Teaching the Academically Underprepared Law Student will be the focus of the Duquesne University School of Law's national Legal Writing Conference, slated for Saturday, Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the law school.

"Over the past three decades, there have been significant changes in the generational characteristics and educational training of college students, and those changes have had a major impact on legal education," said Jan Levine, associate professor and director of Duquesne's nationally ranked Legal Research and Writing Program. "These changes are rooted in the advent and proliferation of computer-based technology, a transformed educational environment that many critics say focuses more on business than on learning, and a declining economic forecast for many."

According to Levine, scholars have reported that many students have not developed their critical thinking skills in college and that many lack the research, writing, reading and reasoning abilities of past generations of students. "As educators, we are facing new challenges in teaching these students and it makes it increasingly difficult to train lawyers in the fundamental and writing skills necessary for members of a profession critical to a society based on the rule of law," said Levine.

Participants will attend various sessions at the conference that will address:

  • overviews of generational characteristics and the socio-economic backgrounds of law students
  • reports on studies of critical reading and writing skills
  • suggested changes to the pre-law-school curriculum and law school admissions process
  • many concrete suggestions on pedagogical approaches for teaching current law students. 

Teaching the Academically Underprepared Law Student offers 2.5 hours of substantive Continuing Legal Education credit. The conference is sponsored by Bloomberg BNA, Thomson Reuters Westlaw and Carolina Academic Press. For more information, call 412.396.1048 or visit www.duq.edu/law/legalwritingconference.  

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.