Foundations for Practice Project
Speaker Zack DeMeola
In 2015, IAALS began its Foundations for Practice project by conducting a survey of more than 24,000 lawyers across the country to identify the characteristics, competencies, and skills that new lawyers need right out of law school. Since publishing the results of the survey, IAALS has been using those results this past year to work with Columbia University Law School, Seattle University School of Law, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and 36 different employers selected by these schools to develop a set of learning outcomes, assessments, instructional designs, and hiring tools to instill and identify desired characteristics, competencies, and skills in future lawyers. The culmination of all this work is a Foundations-based Learning Outcomes Model, a set of Foundations-based hiring tools, and recommendations for how educators and employers can effectively use them for more objective and reliable assessment of student performance and hiring criteria. A Foundations-based hiring process that is intentional, explicit, and consistent more aptly aligns the needs of the employer with the abilities of a candidate by requiring employers to clearly define the abilities they seek in new hires and tie those abilities to their hiring criteria. This results in more compatible matches between new hires and employers and has more potential to reduce the influence of bias in hiring than relying on traditional criteria alone.
At the end of this programs, participants will:
1. Be familiar with Foundations for Practice research on what new lawyers need for success;
2. Understand how Foundations for Practice research can be used as the basis for designing learning outcomes and hiring tools;
3. Understand how to take advantage of and apply the results from the Foundations for Practice study as another tool to improve or supplement legal education and career development, including the use of objective criteria to reduce the influence of bias in hiring.