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Do we value what clients think about their lawyers? If so, why don't we measure it?

Barton, Karen and Cunningham, C and Maharg, Paul and Jones, G. (2005) Do we value what clients think about their lawyers? If so, why don't we measure it? In: 6th International Clinical Conference, 2005-10-27 - 2005-10-30. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

An international and interdisciplinary team from the Glasgow Graduate School of Law (GGSL) and the Dundee Medical School - in Scotland - and the Georgia State University College of Law (GSU) - in the U.S. - has undertaken an ambitious project to change the way lawyer-client communication skills are taught and assessed. Medical education in both the US and the UK has been transformed by a new methodology for assessing competence in patient communication: the use of intensively-trained lay persons who present standardized patient scenarios to medical candidates and then assess the candidates’ performance. GGSL is the site for a series of pilot projects testing whether a similar methodology using standardized clients (SCs) would be more valid, reliable and cost-effective than the current GGSL approach, which is widely used by many law schools, of having client roles played by students with assessment based on law teacher review of the interview videotape. These projects culminated in January 2006 with a graded interviewing exercise that GGSL students must pass in order eventually to be eligible for a law license. Over 250 GGSL students conducted this exercise with SCs, and the SC assessments were analyzed and compared with law teachers’ evaluations of the interview videotapes.