Learning Outcomes

Carved molding in Dean's Office

Preamble: Southwestern Law School is committed to helping students become reflective and self-fulfilled professionals who are able to integrate legal professionalism, ethics, values, doctrine, theory, and skills to become outstanding professionals in a broad variety of settings. The learning objectives listed embody this broader mission.

Learning Outcome 1: Reflection and Self-Fulfillment. Students will be able to reflect on their values, learning, and performance as these relate to their responsibilities as professionals to continuously learn, evolve, and achieve self-fulfillment.

Performance Criterion 1.1: Students will identify, plan, and initiate efforts to pursue their professional goals in a manner that considers their values, priorities, and interests, as well as the steps required to achieve those professional goals.

Performance Criterion 1.2: Students will meaningfully reflect on, identify, and assess their strengths, weaknesses, and values as professionals.

Performance Criterion 1.3: Students will use self-assessment to plan future efforts for improvement as professionals.

Learning Outcome 2: Leadership and Service. Students will be able to appreciate the role of the legal profession in fostering justice and diversity through leadership, public service, and community involvement.

Performance Criterion 2.1: Students will accurately identify the history, structures, values, shortcomings, and ongoing responsibilities of the legal profession with regard to fostering justice and diversity.

Performance Criterion 2.2: Students will articulate an understanding of the need for lawyers to serve the community and legal profession and to improve access to justice by assisting the underserved through pro bono representation or other efforts.

Performance Criterion 2.3: Students will identify and respect diverse backgrounds and perspectives that may affect client representation or professional work generally.

Learning Outcome 3: Ethics, Values, and Professionalism. Students will demonstrate good judgement consistent with the legal profession's ethics, values, and duties to clients, the legal system, and society.

Performance Criterion 3.1: Students will accurately articulate law governing lawyers, and ethical rules and values of the legal profession.

Performance Criterion 3.2: Students will correctly identify issues of professional conduct for attorneys in actual or hypothetical factual settings.

Performance Criterion 3.3: Students will capably apply law governing lawyers, and ethical rules and values of the legal profession to assess appropriate professional conduct in actual or hypothetical factual settings.

Performance Criterion 3.4: Students will be honest, diligent, civil, punctual, and respectful in their actions and interactions with others.

Learning Outcome 4: Legal Knowledge. Students will be able to identify and explain fundamental legal rules, procedures, concepts, theories, and policies.

Performance Criterion 4.1: Students will identify and accurately articulate the terms, rules, and principles of core substantive and procedural areas of law.

Performance Criterion 4.2: Students will accurately identify and articulate the underlying theories, policies, historical development, and social, economic, and political context of legal rules.

Performance Criterion 4.3: Students will logically synthesize legal rules from multiple authorities, critique the law’s goals and functions, critically analyze and reconcile conflicts in the law, accurately identify gaps and problems in the law, and formulate innovative solutions.

Learning Outcome 5: Application of Legal Knowledge. Students will be able to apply knowledge and critical reading and thinking skills to be proficient in legal analysis, reasoning, and problem solving.

Performance Criterion 5.1: Students will accurately identify relevant legal issues raised by a set of facts.

Performance Criterion 5.2: Students will accurately identify legal rules applicable to an issue raised by a set of facts, including conflicting rules and rules synthesized from multiple authorities pertinent to the particular issue.

Performance Criterion 5.3: To support a conclusion on an issue, students will logically apply case law or other relevant legal authority to a set of facts by using facts, reasoning, comparisons, and policies.

Performance Criterion 5.4: Students will anticipate significant opposing arguments based on fact, law, or policy, and adequately address them in a manner that supports a conclusion on an issue.

Learning Outcome 6: Legal Skills. Students will be able to effectively conduct legal research, investigate, advocate, collaborate, and communicate with a variety of audiences.

Performance Criteria 6.1: In written legal analysis and other forms of legal writing, students will produce work that is clear, concise, well organized, and professional in tone, and that complies with directions or instructions, including any formatting or citation requirements.

Performance Criterion 6.2: Students will develop an effective research strategy.

Performance Criterion 6.3: Students will locate and analyze primary and secondary sources relevant to a legal issue, including binding and persuasive authority.

Performance Criterion 6.4: Students will draft and edit documents that objectively analyze a legal problem and competently predict how the law will apply to a set of facts.

Performance Criterion 6.5: Students will draft and edit documents that advocate effectively with regard to law, facts, or policy.

Performance Criterion 6.6: Students will deliver effective and persuasive oral advocacy in real or hypothetical settings, and explain legal issues understandably and professionally in oral communication.

Performance Criterion 6.7: Students will actively listen and collaborate effectively with others.

Performance Criteria 6.8: Students will competently determine and develop facts through interviewing or other methods of investigation.