The generation of effective learning objectives and assessments will en-
able students to more quickly acquire the study skills they need for success.
They will more effectively manage time because they will spend their time
focused on the professors’ actual learning objectives, rather than trying to
guess what the objectives might be. They will better comprehend the as-
signed reading material because the objectives will help them distinguish
between important and less significant information in the text. Through the
feedback provided from formative assessments students will more effec-
tively synthesize material and think critically about it, and each formative
assessment will help the student perform better on the next formative as-
sessment and ultimately help them prepare for the summative assessment.
Integrating academic skills training into the substantive curriculum will also
enhance students’ acquisition and development of study skills because stu-
dents will be exposed to the skills in the context of their substantive courses
and the intimate relationship between the nature of the legal topic and the
learning of the legal topic will be preserved.
IV. Conclusion
Few would likely argue that today’s law student is adequately prepared to
study law upon admission to law school. Many students arrive on cam-
pus with knowledge deficiencies, writing skill deficits, and poor work ethics
and academic skills. Rather than attempting to evaluate why students lack
the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, this essay has proposed
a number of changes to law school admissions and first-year programs.
None of the changes would dilute the rigor of the law school experience,
but collectively they would have a significant impact on the way students ap-
proach their studies. Adding substantive knowledge questions to the LSAT,
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