Welcome from LSSSE Director Aaron N. Taylor
[LSSSE is] one of the largest contemporary databases of legal education.
Aaron N. Taylor
Aaron N. Taylor is director of LSSSE and an assistant professor at Saint Louis University School of Law. A career higher education administrator and faculty member, Professor Taylor's primary teaching and research interests are in the areas of education law and legal ethics. His scholarly articles have appeared in journals published by American University, Howard University, University of Notre Dame, and University of New Mexico. His commentaries have appeared in numerous publications, including the Chronicle of Higher Education and the South Florida Sun Sentinel. He is also a frequent media commentator on education and diversity issues.
The last few years have brought about much soul searching and reflection within legal education. Schools have been forced to consider their future in the context of new, angst-producing realities. Central to this process has been the question of how can the law school experience be better aligned with the realities of the profession. Put differently, how can legal education better serve its constituents, especially its students—the lifeblood of the endeavor?
Assessment is vital to any reform effort. Effectiveness must be measured using tools that are both valid and reliable. This is especially true as resources grow scarcer. LSSSE is such a tool.
LSSSE asks students about their law school experience—for example, how they spend their time and what they feel they have gained from their classes and interactions. LSSSE focuses on teaching, learning, and interactive methods that extensive research concludes are linked to student performance.
Data from LSSSE provide legal educators with critical information about the experiences of their students on a range of indicators. The longitudinal nature of the survey allows for established trends to be tracked. The flexible nature of the survey allows for emerging trends to be identified through the introduction of new questions.
We are committed to ensuring that LSSSE remains a valuable tool for helping law schools understand their students and assess the effectiveness of their programs. But the value of LSSSE transcends the individual schools that participate. LSSSE is an important tool for informing larger discussions of the future of legal education. As legal education moves into the future, the student perspective must help inform the path forward.