Welcome from LSSSE Director Carole Silver
[LSSSE is] one of the largest contemporary databases of legal education.
Carole Silver is director of LSSSE and Professor of Law at Indiana University Maurer School of Law. She teaches courses on the legal profession, globalization and business organizations. Carole is a member of the ABA's Commission on Ethics 20/20, a group charged with the task of reviewing the current lawyer regulatory regime in light of advances in technology and global legal practice developments.
Reframing the Discussion of Law School Quality
What makes for a learner-centered law school? And how can we tell?
News magazines rank law schools on everything from student LSAT scores and faculty-student ratios to library holdings and employment rates. Alumni, parents, and friends freely share personal experiences and anecdotes, while accrediting agencies and other groups focus on organizational arrangements and resources.
This kind of information reveals some useful things about law school quality, but it doesn't tell us much about what is most important to student learning - whether an institution's programs and practices are having the desired effect on students' activities, experiences, and outcomes.
What is the Law School Survey of Student Engagement?
LSSSE asks students about their law school experience - how they spend their time, what they feel they've gained from their classes, their assessment of the quality of interactions with faculty and friends, and about important activities. Extensive research indicates that good educational practices in the classroom and interactions with others, such as faculty and peers, are directly related to high-quality student outcomes. LSSSE focuses on these practices by assessing student engagement in key areas.
LSSSE focuses squarely on many promising teaching and learning practices and other aspects of the law school environments that are thought to be linked to high levels of student performance. We believe its questions have considerable face validity to law students, faculty and staff, which is one reason more than 140,000 law students have so far completed the survey, making it one of the largest contemporary databases of legal education. Data from LSSSE provide legal educators with valuable information about the student experience - information schools can use to help improve the quality of the education they provide. The LSSSE project is a collaborative effort. We are indebted to all the LSSSE board members for their selfless service that helps to ensure that the project meets its potential by providing high quality information not otherwise available to the legal education community. We are grateful to the many law school educators who are committed to using student engagement data and related information to enhance the quality of legal education.