Loyola University Chicago

School of Law

Learning Outcomes and Competencies

The School of Law seeks to educate graduates who have acquired:

A.  Fundamental lawyering skills;

B.  A commitment to the fundamental values of the legal profession;

C.  A dedication to the Jesuit tradition of service to others; and

D.  A readiness to become leaders in an interdependent world.

In particular, the School of Law has developed the following statement of educational goals, objectives, student competencies and student learning outcomes:

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES AND LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR GOAL I

1.  Graduates should be able to develop and evaluate strategies for solving problems.

a.         They are able to identify and diagnose problems.
b.         They are able to generate alternative solutions and strategies for solving a problem.
c.         They are able to develop a plan of action for implementing the solution of a problem.
d.         They are able to implement the plan of action.
e.         They keep the planning process open to new information and new ideas.

2.  Graduates should be able to analyze and apply legal rules and principles.

a.         They are able to identify and formulate legal issues.
b.         They are able to formulate legal doctrines pertinent to an evaluation of those issues.
c.         They are able to evaluate critically the application of those legal doctrines to underlying issues.
d.         They are able to use this process to develop legal arguments.

[1] In its 2012-2013 Standards for Approval of Law Schools and required Program of Legal Education, the American Bar Association includes the following areas of instruction within its interpretation of professional skills: “[t]rial and appellate advocacy, alternative methods of dispute resolution, counseling, interviewing, negotiating, problem solving, factual investigation, organization and management of legal work, and drafting.” ABA Standard 302, Interpretation 302-2. As defined by the McCrate Report, fundamental lawyering skills include:

1. Problem Solving; 2. Legal Analysis and Reasoning; 3. Legal Research; 4. Factual Investigation; 5. Communication; 6.Counseling; 7. Negotiation; 8. Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution; 9. Organization and Management of Legal Work; and 10. Recognizing and Resolving Ethical Dilemmas.

3.  Graduates should be able to identify legal issues and to research them thoroughly and efficiently.                          

a.         They have knowledge of the nature of legal rules and institutions.
b.         They have knowledge of and ability to use the most fundamental tools of legal research.
c.         They are able to devise and implement a coherent and effective research design

4.  Graduates should be able to plan, direct, and (where applicable) participate in factual investigations.    

a.         They are able to determine when a factual investigation is needed.
b.         They are able to plan a factual investigation.
c.         They are able to implement and appropriate investigative strategy.
d.         They are able to memorialize and organize information gathered in an accessible form.
e.         They are able to evaluate the information that has been gathered.

5.  Graduates should be able to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, with the legal community, their clients, and the public.

a.         They should be able to assess the perspectives of the recipient of the information.
b.         They are able to explain legal principles and make legal arguments in a coherent fashion.

6.  Graduates should be able to draft legal documents, including pleadings and court papers, transactional documents, and legislative and regulatory texts.

a.         They have a thorough understanding of the factual context in which a document is being drafted.
b.         They have a thorough understanding of the bodies of law that might impact the rights of the parties affected by the document being drafted.
c.         They understand the particular needs and goals of one’s client with regard to the document being drafted.
d.         They understand and implement the drafting conventions associated with particular types of documents.
e.         They understand how to organize legal documents.
f.          They are able to draft legal documents in plain, unambiguous language that can be readily comprehended.

7.  Graduates should be able to counsel clients about decisions or courses of action.

a.         They establish counseling relationships that respect the nature and bounds of a lawyer’s role.
b.         They gather information relevant to making the decision.
c.         They analyze the implications of the decisions being made.
d.         They communicate relevant information to the client and counsel the client regarding the decision being made.
e.         They ascertain and implement decision made by the client following a consultation.

8.  Graduates should be able to negotiate in either a dispute-resolution or transactional context.

a.         They are able to prepare for negotiation.
b.         They are able to conduct a negotiation session.
c.         They are able to counsel the client about terms proposed by the other side in the negotiation.
d.         They are able to implement the decision made by the client regarding terms proposed by the other side in negotiation.

9.  Graduates should be prepared to become ethical advocates for their clients in a variety of dispute resolution forums.

a.         They have a working knowledge of the fundamentals of litigation at the trial-court and appellate court levels.
b.         They have a working knowledge of the fundamentals of litigation in administrative and executive forums
c.         They have a working knowledge of the fundamentals of arbitration and proceedings in other dispute-resolution forums.
d.         They have a working knowledge of the legislative process.
e.         They are able to assess the appropriateness of selecting and pursuing different forms of advocacy.

10.  Graduates should appreciate the value of collaborating with others inside and outside the legal profession.

a.         They are able to assess the strengths and areas of competence of the practice backgrounds.
b.         They understand when it is appropriate to supplement the strength and areas of competence in their practice backgrounds by bringing in attorneys who have other skill sets or different areas of expertise.
c.         They work with those who have expertise in areas outside of law to develop interdisciplinary solutions to problems that are acceptable to one’s clients and the other interests.
d.         They are able to work with attorneys representing other interests to formulate solutions to problems that are acceptable to one’s client and the other interests.
e.         They are civil to and respectful of attorneys, judges, court personnel, co-workers, and others with whom they associate.

11.  Graduates should be familiar with the skills and concepts required for organizing and efficiently managing legal work.

a.         They are able to formulate goals and principles for effective practice management.
b.         They can develop systems and procedures to ensure that time, effort, and resources are allocated efficiently.
c.         They can develop systems and procedures for effectively working with other people.
d.         They can develop systems and procedures for effectively administering a law office.

12.  Graduates should be able to pass the bar examination and gain employment.

a.         They are familiar with the basic principles associated with a substantial number of areas of law typically tested on bar examinations.
b.         They are familiar with the basic principles associated with a substantial number of areas of law valued by employers.
c.         They pass the Illinois bar examination.
d.         They are employed within 9 months of graduation. 

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES AND LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR GOAL II

1.  Graduates should understand the importance of and be committed to providing competent representation and service to their clients.

a.         They attain and maintain competence in the fields in which they practice.  
b.         They represent clients competently

2.  Graduates should understand the importance of promoting justice, fairness, and morality in their practices, in the profession, and in the greater society.

a.         They are familiar with different theories of justice
b.         They promote justice, fairness, and morality on a daily basis in their practices.
c.         They contribute to the profession’s fulfillment of its responsibilities to ensure that adequate legal services are provided to those who cannot afford to pay for them.
d.         They contribute to the profession’s fulfillment of its responsibility to enhance the capacity of law and legal institution to do justice.

3.  Graduates should understand the continuing need for lawyers to be actively engaged in the process of improving the legal profession.

a.         They participate in activities designed to improve the profession.
b.         They participate in training and mentoring new lawyers.
c.         They support efforts to and work to rid the profession of bias based on race, religion, ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability and to rectify the effects of these biases.

4.  Graduates should understand the continuing need for lawyers to be actively engaged in professional self-development.

a.         They seek out and take advantage of opportunities to increase their knowledge and to improve their skills.
b.         They select and maintain employment that will allow them to develop as professionals and to pursue their professional and personal goals.

5.  Graduates should be able to recognize and resolve ethical problems.

a.         They are familiar with the nature and sources of ethical standards.
b.         They are familiar with the means by which ethical standards are enforced.
c.         They are familiar with the process for recognizing and resolving ethical problems.
d.         They never lie.
e.         They distinguish right from wrong when ethical boundaries are clear and they always act on that knowledge.
f.          When lawyers of good faith might disagree about where to draw ethical boundaries, they have judgment to identify and weigh competing values before pursuing a course of action.
g.         They pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Exam.  

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES AND LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR GOAL III

1.  Graduates should be knowledgeable about the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence and intellectual openness in the context of a commitment to social justice.

a.         They place their learning in a social justice context.
b.         They understand the relationship between the law and constructs of knowledge, culture, and power.
c.         They question and challenge laws existing structures that have an adverse impact on those who are poor or less fortunate, or who are being deprives of their right to exist with dignity.

2.  Graduates should understand the importance of serving others, particularly those who are less fortunate.

a.         They provide assistance to those who are poor or less fortunate, or who are being deprived of their right to exist with dignity.
b.         They participate in and contribute to organizations that assist those who are poor or less fortunate.  

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES AND LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR GOAL IV

1.  Graduates should be able to understand and evaluate the impact of current technologies on the practice and development of law.

a.         They stay abreast of current technologies being widely used in the legal profession and in business.
b.         They stay abreast of emerging technologies and are sensitive to how emerging technologies affect developments in the areas of law in which they practice. 

2.  Graduates should be aware of the importance of keeping up with developments in areas of the world outside the United States.

a.         They stay abreast of developments in other countries and in bodies of international law that affect the areas of law in which they practice.
b.         They stay abreast of developments in other countries and in bodies of international law that affect the interest of their clients.

3.  Graduates should have experience with and understand the value of being able to relate to people from a variety of different backgrounds.

a.         They operate in environments that are racially and ethnically diverse.
b.         They are able to work effectively with persons from a variety of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, including clients, colleagues, administrative support personnel, opposing counsel, and jurors.

4.  Graduates should recognize the importance of assuming leadership roles in the profession and in the greater society.

a.         They become leaders in bar associations, in corporations, and in civic and charitable organizations.
b.         They become professors, judges or government officials.