Texas Tech University

Skills and Ability for Law Study

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Skills and Ability for Law Study


Academic Policies and Graduation Requirements

Date Approved and/or Revised

May 15, 2015

Skills and Ability for Law Study

To help applicants for admission and current students understand the rigor of the academic programs offered at the School of Law, and the minimum essential skills and abilities needed for successful completion, the School of Law has developed standards for successful law study. These standards are based in part on the ABA Task Force on Law Schools and the Profession, Legal Education and Professional Development—An Education Continuum (1992) (often referred to as the "MacCrate Report" in honor of the chair of the task force) and the considered judgment of the faculty of the School of Law. Item No. 4 is based on Standard 308(a) of the American Bar Association, Standards for Approval of Law Schools.

  1. Intellectual—Conceptual and Integrative Skills: The candidate must be able to recall and analyze complex factual information, integrate this information with complex legal theories, and apply to those facts the substantive legal principles that will control the result in a particular case. This form of analytical ability involves the ability to recognize and identify the legal issues that are implicated by specific facts, the ability to sort material facts from immaterial facts, the ability to recognize and evaluate competing legal theories that might apply to the facts, and the use of sound and logical legal reasoning in applying legal principles to material facts to reach a proper result. It also involves the ability to recognize when different legal analysis might lead to a different but nonetheless logically supportable result. The candidate must be able to perform legal research.
  2. Effective Communication Skills: The candidate must be able to organize ideas and express them with a high degree of organization, clarity, precision, and persuasive force. A candidate must be able to demonstrate ability with the English language and commitment to writing well, including appropriate vocabulary, grammar, syntax, spelling, and punctuation. A candidate must be able to memorialize and organize information in an accessible form. A candidate must be able to communicate candidly and civilly with others. A candidate must be honest in advocating a particular result, and should not misrepresent either facts or the content of any legal principle upon which the candidate relies.
  3. Behavioral and Social Attributes: A candidate must possess the emotional health required for the full utilization of his or her abilities and possess the interpersonal skills to work with others. The candidate must possess the ability to:
    1. Comply with requirements of applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, statutes, and applicable orders of a court or tribunal;
    2. Comply with the ethical norms of the profession as expressed in the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct and the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, including the avoidance of acts that are illegal, dishonest, fraudulent, or deceitful;
    3. Avoid acts that exhibit disregard for the rights or welfare of others;
    4. Use honest and good judgment in financial dealings on behalf of oneself and others; and
    5. Act diligently and reliably in fulfilling one's obligations to others.
  4. Attendance and Participation: A candidate must be able to have regular and punctual class attendance and to fully participate in class discussions.
  5. Time Management: A candidate must possess the ability to comply with deadlines and time constraints, and to prioritize and manage multiple tasks.