Development of the Standardized Client Assessment

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Long title: 
Performance-Based Evaluation of Lawyer-Client Communication: The Development of the Standardized Client Assessment
Author(s): 
Cunningham, Clark D.
Author(s)' contact information: 
www.ClarkCunningham.org
Year: 
2013
Country: 
USA

From 2004 -2006 an international and interdisciplinary team undertook an ambitious project to change the way lawyer-client communication skills are taught and assessed. Medical education 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. The Glasgow Graduate School of Law in Scotland was the site for a series of pilot projects testing whether a similar methodology using standardized clients would be more valid, reliable and cost-effective than the approach, widely used by many law schools, of having client roles played by students with assessment based on law teacher review of the interview videotape. The results strongly indicated that assessment by standardized clients was sufficiently valid and reliable to be used for a high-stakes examination in legal education. This methodology has since been adapted for use in England, the United States, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan.

Status: 
Published electronically only
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