Kaplan Bar Review Announces Grants to Support Academic Research into the Effectiveness of Modern Legal Education

Kaplan Will Provide A Total of $50,000 and Academic Resources to Assist Selected Researchers

New York, NY  (Profitable.com)  Legal education in the U.S. is at a crossroads. Against the backdrop of a tough job market for recent law school graduates and decline in law school applications, many academics, professionals, and students are questioning the effectiveness of how future lawyers are currently educated*. To help find solutions to these challenges, Kaplan Bar Review will donate a total of $50,000 in research grants to academics to study the efficacy of varying approaches to legal pedagogy. Additionally, Kaplan Bar Review will support chosen applicants by making available to them Kaplan’s unique expertise in research and educational assessment.

“At Kaplan Bar Review, we work with thousands of students every year, in addition to working with law schools themselves, which provides us with a unique understanding into the challenges of the current climate of legal education, including the diminishing resources earmarked for research,” said Steven Marietti, general manager and vice president, Kaplan Bar Review. “These uncertain times provide a great opportunity to examine legal education and how we prepare young people to enter the profession. We want to be able to help support some of the promising experiments and initiatives that may provide new, evidence-based methods to teach the law.”

“Kaplan Bar Review’s new research grant program comes at a particularly opportune moment because some law schools are cutting faculty funding for research,” said Michael Hunter Schwartz, dean and professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s William H. Bowen School of Law, who sits on the grants program decision committee. “More significantly, the particular types of projects that Kaplan will be supporting, including studies focused on the teaching and learning process in law school, are of critical importance to a field searching for innovative ways to be more effective.”

Any U.S.–based academic researcher working on the efficacy of pedagogy in the legal realm is eligible for a Kaplan Bar Review grant, with preference given to researchers associated with an American university; researchers associated with legal faculty; and/or academic support personnel. The research must be intended to be published as a substantive paper, article, or book chapter. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Pedagogical initiatives in core laws school subjects or electives
  • Pre-law school admissions or preparation
  • Bar exam passage
  • Practice-readiness
  • Continuing legal education

For more information about the Kaplan Bar Review Legal Pedagogy Efficacy Research Grants program, prospective researchers can visit: www.KaplanBarReview.com/ISS. For journalists interested in writing about the program, please contact Russell Schaffer at russell.schaffer@kaplan.com or 212.453.7538.

*“A Call for Drastic Changes in Educating New Lawyers,” The New York Times, February 11, 2013, Ethan Bronner.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/11/us/lawyers-call-for-drastic-change-in-educating-new-lawyers.html

About Kaplan Bar Review

Kaplan Bar Review (www.kaplanbarreview.com) provides full-service bar review programs in 38 states (Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wyoming) and Washington DC, making its courses available to over 92% of the U.S. Bar-taking population. Additionally, Kaplan Bar Review offers supplemental preparation for the Multistate Bar Exam (MBE).

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