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Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud: Defensive Pessimism In Legal Education, Emily Zimmerman, Casey Laduke Nov 2017

Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud: Defensive Pessimism In Legal Education, Emily Zimmerman, Casey Laduke

Catholic University Law Review

This Article presents the results of the first empirical research project to investigate law students’ use of defensive pessimism. Previous researchers have suggested that defensive pessimism may benefit law students academically. Defensive pessimism is a strategy that involves setting low expectations and reflecting extensively on what could go wrong in connection with a future event in order to manage anxiety and improve performance. However, up until now, law students’ use of defensive pessimism has not been empirically studied.

We investigated law students’ use of defensive pessimism. Contrary to the suggestions of other scholars, we did not find statistically significant relationships ...


Changing The Modal Law School: Rethinking U.S. Legal Education In (Most) Schools, Nancy B. Rapoport Oct 2017

Changing The Modal Law School: Rethinking U.S. Legal Education In (Most) Schools, Nancy B. Rapoport

Dickinson Law Review

This essay argues that discussions of educational reform in U.S. law schools have suffered from a fundamental misconception: that the education provided in all of the American Bar Association-accredited schools is roughly the same. A better description of the educational opportunities provided by ABA-accredited law schools would group the schools into three rough clusters: the “elite” law schools, the modal (most frequently occurring) law schools, and the precarious law schools. Because the elite law schools do not need much “reforming,” the better focus of reform would concentrate on the modal and precarious schools; however, both elite and modal law ...