- Teaching the Academically Underprepared Law Student: 4th Colonial Frontier Legal Writing Conference (conference information) (Duquesne University School of Law), December 6, 2014
For generations, college and law school educators have often voiced the belief that their students are not as prepared as they used to be. Although some educators may disagree about whether there really has been a change in students since the apocryphal "good old days," there is a growing body of scholarship suggesting that 21st Century college graduates and law students lack the critical thinking skills necessary for law study and that as educators we are facing new challenges in teaching these students. Scholars and other commentators have pointed to many causes for the real (and perhaps perceived) problems that new law students experience while trying to cope with the demands of academic and professional training. These causes include the declining quality of pre-college schooling, the focus on standardized testing, lowered expectations at the undergraduate level, a decrease in the numbers and "quality" of incoming law students, the generational characteristics of current law students, the effects on student learning from psychological problems such as anxiety disorders, the deleterious influence of the Internet and computer technology, and more. This conference will offer attendees an opportunity to hear from others who are interested in these questions, and, hopefully, learn how to better teach current law students or change the current educational environment.