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W&L Professors Johnson, Danforth, and Millon Post Piece on Third-Year Program

Professors Lyman Johnson, Robert Danforth, and David Millon have posted a piece discussing the third-year program at W&L Law.  The piece appears in Reforming Legal Education (Moss & Curtis, eds.).  Here is a description of the piece, which can be downloaded by visiting http://ssrn.com/abstract=2139789:

In early 2008, Washington and Lee fundamentally reformed the entire third year law school curriculum. The new curriculum broke with decades-long tradition by focusing entirely on student-centered, experiential learning. It also sharply distinguished the educational approach in the third year from that in the first and second years, thereby creating a strong sense of pedagogical progression. Finally, it more deliberately prepared students for the transition to practice and emphasized the importance of attending to the formation of a professional identity.

This article, a chapter in a new book − Reforming Legal Education (D. Moss & D. Curtis, eds., 2012) – describes in detail the substantive curricular changes made at Washington and Lee. But it also describes more process-oriented factors that are critical to successful curricular reform such as aligning proposed changes with a school’s or university’s larger strategic objectives so as to achieve true institutional “fit.” We also describe the importance of thoughtful implementation of reform, after adoption, through a phased-in “roll out” process. Finally, we relate how our curricular changes included, from the outset, a mandated mechanism for post-adoption assessment on an ongoing basis. Assurance of expected regular occasions for revisiting curricular reform can itself facilitate change and overcome initial resistance.

Posted in Danforth, Robert, Faculty, Johnson, Lyman P.Q., Law Center, Law homepage, Millon, David, Scholarship

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