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Learning Outcomes Database

This database contains a searchable list of all law school learning outcomes that were available on law school websites as of January 2022.

We have identified those law schools with “basic” learning outcomes – those that recite the language of Standard 302 and nothing more. We also have identified those law schools with more robust learning outcomes than required by the language of Standard 302.

Over time, this will include an archive to show how learning outcomes have evolved across law schools.

Standard Learning Outcomes

Standard 302(a) Learning Outcomes

This page contains language of law school learning outcomes associated with Standard 302(a) – competency in (a) Knowledge and understanding of substantive and procedural law.

See Standard 302(a)

Standard 302(b) Learning Outcomes

This page contains language of law school learning outcomes associated with Standard 302(b) and (d) – competency in (b) Legal analysis and reasoning, legal research, problem-solving, and written and oral communication in the legal context; and (d) Other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession. This includes some “other professional skills” to the extent they are associated with communication and problem-solving, such as client interviewing, fact investigation, document drafting, negotiation, trial advocacy, etc.

See Standard 302(b)

Standard 302(c) Learning Outcomes

This page contains language of law school learning outcomes associated with Standards 302(c) and (d) – competency in (c) Exercise of proper professional and ethical responsibilities to clients and the legal system; and (d) Other professional skills needed for competent and ethical participation as a member of the legal profession. This includes some “other professional skills” associated with professional and ethical responsibilities such as cultural competence, integrity, diligence, self-directedness, teamwork, etc.

See Standard 302(c)

Most Common Learning Outcomes: Technical Skills

Most common learning outcomes law schools are adopting on technical skills and capacities beyond the Standard 302 (a)-(d) minimum requirements (including all outcomes adopted by ten or more schools) (presented in descending order of frequency).

Learning Outcome Number of Law Schools (185)
Issue-Spotting 74 Schools (40%)
Understanding Legal Policy and Trends 56 Schools (30%)
Document Drafting 52 Schools (28%)
Time Management/Planning 49 Schools (26%)
Understanding the Legal System 47 Schools (25%)
Analogize/Synthesize/Distinguish 46 Schools (25%)
Identify Authority 44 Schools (24%)
Precise Language 43 Schools (23%)
Advocacy 38 Schools (21%)
Online Research/Technology 29 Schools (16%)
Policy Arguments 26 Schools (14%)
Public Speaking/Oral Argument 25 Schools (14%)
Knowledge of a Specialty Area 20 Schools (11%)
Citation Format 16 Schools (9%)

Most Common Learning Outcomes: Relational Skills

Most common learning outcomes law schools are adopting on relational and virtue-oriented skills and capacities beyond the Standard 302 (b)-(d) minimum requirements (including all outcomes adopted by ten or more schools) (presented in descending order of frequency).

We included in professionalism all learning outcomes concerning the core values and guiding principles of the profession beyond the minimum of learning the law of lawyering.

We included in cultural competence all learning outcomes that mentioned the capacities and skills of working with others of diverse backgrounds.

We included in self-directedness all learning outcomes concerning ownership of a student's own professional development. Self-directedness includes the sub-competencies of seeking feedback and reflection on experiences and feedback. If schools with learning outcomes on feedback and reflection were included in self-directedness, the total would be 64 schools (35%).

Learning Outcome Number of Law Schools (185)
Persuasion/Knowing Audience 88 Schools (48%)
Professionalism 72 Schools (39%)
Teamwork/Collaboration 70 Schools (38%)
Cultural Competence 70 Schools (38%)
Pro Bono 67 Schools (36%)
Self-directedness 53 Schools (29%)
Client Interviewing or Counseling 46 Schools (25%)
Judgment 44 Schools (24%)
Reflection/Self-evaluation 42 Schools (23%)
Negotiation 42 Schools (23%)
Active Listening 35 Schools (19%)
Respect for Others 34 Schools (18%)
Client-centered 33 Schools (18%)
Integrity 28 Schools (15%)
Improving the Profession 28 Schools (15%)
Mediation/Conflict Resolution 27 Schools (15%)
Leadership 18 Schools (10%)
Diligence 15 Schools (8%)
Actively Seeking Feedback 10 Schools (5%)
Self-care 10 Schools (5%)

Criteria for Database Inclusion

The database does not include the JAG School or any of the three Puerto Rican law schools. It also excludes the following law schools that have lost ABA accreditation or have phased out or are phasing out of operation since the first iteration of the Learning Outcomes Databases: Arizona Summit, Florida Coastal, Indiana Tech, LaVerne, Thomas Jefferson, Valparaiso, and Whittier.

With the above adjustments, there are 194 ABA accredited law schools that should have posted learning outcomes. We have found learning outcomes for 185 of these schools that are in the database. The law schools that do not have learning outcomes posted on their law school webpage as of January 2022 include: Columbia University, University of the District of Columbia, Howard University, Lewis and Clark University, Louisiana State University, University of Miami, College of William and Mary, University of Wyoming and Yeshiva University (Cardozo).

Some schools list learning outcomes that do not clearly state a competency that all students will demonstrate. For example, some schools have statements that students will demonstrate some skills from a list of skills using language like “such as [and a list of skills}” or “which may include [and a list of skills].” This language does not guarantee a graduate will obtain any specific skill. Accordingly, these statements have not been included as a learning outcome.

A newly added category, Client-Centered Problem Solving, reflects learning outcomes with a principled focus of client attentiveness with respect to problem solving. To be included in this learning outcome list, the school had to adopt language going significantly beyond simple problem solving to include a message strongly reflecting a client focus.