Values and Assumptions in legal education: How learning more about law students can help us improve legal education and better prepare students for law practice

 We will address the ways in which our research has attempted to learn more about law students’ perspectives on legal education and better prepare students for law practice. Luis Fernando Pérez Hurtado will discuss his research with Mexican law students about their perspectives regarding their legal education. Most of the responses refer to their professors’ values, not only regarding what students hear from professors, but also regarding how professors conduct themselves. Luis’s presentation will discuss the values that law students think their professors possess, how these values are “taught” to the students, and the effect that they have on legal education and, later, on law practice. Diane Labrèche will discuss her research regarding cultural intelligence in law practice. Diane will discuss how the development of cultural intelligence provides an approach to allow the integration of social context issues in the practice of law. This requires a change in attitude and values both for the practitioner and the law professor. Diane’s presentation will explore this aspect of her research, on which she has recently published a book with one of her colleagues. Emily Zimmerman will discuss her empirical research regarding law students’ assessment preferences. Although there has been much attention recently to assessment in legal education, very little attention has been given to law students’ perspectives regarding assessment. Emily’s research provides insight into how law students feel about assessment and identifies particular areas of interest for legal educators who are concerned about providing meaningful assessment in law schools.