I Think I Can: How Self-Efficacy and Self-Regulation Impacts Black and Latinx Bar Examinees

This study examined experiences of bar exam takers of color who passed on either the first or the second time. The theories of self-efficacy and self-regulation served as a conceptual framework for this study and were used to shape the interview questions as well as the data analysis. Eight participants were interviewed who graduated from law school within the last five years, passed the bar exam on either the first or second time, and identified as Black or Latinx. Through analysis of the participants’ interviews, nine themes emerged. Participants who passed on the first time overcame academic insecurity early on, were mindful of study strategies that worked, and found support.

Participants who passed on the second attempt were isolated in studying and experienced outside distractions, but when taking the exam the second time, found their familiarity with the bar exam relieved stress. Finally, both groups found balance in studying, were aware of their ethnic and racial background, and experienced nervousness and anxiety during the exam. Each of these findings had implications for the participants’ self-efficacy and self-regulation while preparing for and taking the bar exam.

Erin Lain, I Think I Can: How Self-Efficacy and Self-Regulation Impacts Black and Latinx Bar Examinees, 10 Ind. J.L. & Soc. Equal. 113 (2022).

Read the full article here. (PDF)

The Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education is engaging with stakeholders to identify potential skill gaps in those recently called to the bar.

The Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) is attempting to enhance and evolve the Practice Readiness Education Program (PREP) so as to be recognized as a “best-in-class” Bar admission program. To achieve this, CPLED is engaging with key stakeholders to gather information on potential skill gaps in lawyers who have been called to the Bar in the last five years.

CPLED has contracted ACT, a non-profit education organisation, to facilitate and analyse the feedback received to provide a report that CPLED will use to update PREP for implementation in their Summer 2024 program.

On behalf of CPLED, ACT will conduct a series of virtual focus groups with lawyers who have been called to the Bar in the past five years, Principals and firm articling supervisors. The focus groups will be 90-minutes long and take place in June of 2022. During the sessions, participants will have the opportunity to share their perspectives on PREP and the competencies necessary for success in early practice.

Read the full article here.

NOvA, the Dutch Bar, has extended the subsidy for trainee lawyers working in social law firms

NOvA, the Dutch Bar, has extended the subsidy scheme for trainee lawyers working in socially- minded law firms. The scheme was first introduced in 2020 and reached its full allocation, with 175 lawyers making use of it. The scheme finances the training costs of lawyers seeking to work in a socially based law firm.

The subsidy scheme will be made available for the first time this year. The evaluation of the scheme  shows that trainee lawyers from all over the country and with various specializations have made use of the scheme. This demonstrates that the scheme contributes to good national coverage of social lawyers.

The scheme came back into action on 14th April and is expected to reach another 175 lawyers seeking to train in a social law firm.

Read the full article here.

The US National Conference of Bar Examiners holds consultation on exam content for the new bar entrance exams

The National Conference of Bar Examiners has sought the input of the US legal market as it continues its plans to implement a new bar entrance exam.

The new exam will place greater emphasis on essential lawyering skills while decreasing the number of legal subjects tested.

The proposed changes are the result of an effort to evaluate the national bar exam, which began in 2018. This public consultation, which closed on 18th April, followed a 3 year internal research period which itself came to a close in January 2021. The new bar exam is scheduled to start in 2026.

Read the full article here.

The Law Society of Hong Kong is currently formulating a proposal to introduce its planned common entrance examination

The Law Society of Hong Kong is proposing the introduction of a new entrance examination, which would ensure that newly admitted solicitors studying different postgraduate law courses have all met the same academic standards on admission.

Reform of legal education in Hong Kong was reported here in the ICLR newsletter in 2017, in comments by Hong Kong Law Society Chief Executive Heidi Chu.

The current regime requires a solicitor candidate to complete the Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL), after a qualifying law degree, and to undertake a formal training contract in order to qualify. Under the current qualification system PCLL providers (of which there are only 3 universities) currently enjoy self-accreditation status and are empowered to set their own admission criteria and conduct and mark their own examinations, subject to the PCLL benchmarks issued by the Law Society. The new examination would add a further stage onto the qualification after the PCLL and would allow the Law Society to impose a common standard across all new entrants to the profession.

The target date for implementation of the new examination is be the 2024/25 academic year.

Read the full article here.

CLIEX and training company Pearson co-operating on the creation of new legal services ‘T-level’ in England and Wales

CLIEX and Pearson begin work on the creation of a new legal services qualification, a ‘T-level’, which will sit alongside the traditional A-level.

The qualification will be for students who want to enter the legal profession, particularly those interested in business administration roles within the legal sector. The qualification will lead directly into a CLIEX professional qualification, opening the door to paralegal work and ultimately a CLIEX lawyer role.

Read the full article here.

Information technology and the future of legal education: A provocation

This short paper explores, albeit in a preliminary fashion, challenges to legal education arising from the significant impact of new information and communications technologies (ICTs) on law and legal practice. It uses the pervasiveness of ICTs to reframe the question of “law and technology” from a philosophical perspective that sees information technology as an “environmental force”2 that is capable of re-shaping our identity, agency, and social relations, and hence constitutes a significant means through which we make sense of the world.3 The key question the paper poses thus emerges: how should we design the law curriculum when the law-technology relation is itself understood as a critical part of a continuing and profound transformation in what it means to be both a lawyer, and a human being?

Read the full paper here.