A warm welcome to the Standardised Client Initiative, an international collaboration to develop a research base and resources for the use of standardised clients in the teaching and learning of legal skills and knowledge. This public blog has been assembled as a resource for all academics and practitioners interested in the use of standardization techniques in professional education. The blog is based on the work we have been doing over the past few years in the Standardized Client project at the Glasgow Graduate School of Law.
I was presenting yesterday on Standardized Clients at the Teaching Legal Ethics workshop organized and hosted by Clark Cunningham and Nigel Duncan, at City University. Very interesting workshop, well designed and implemented. The title of my session was 'The Standardized Client Initiative: a portrait of the teacher as outsider'. Slides at Slideshare, or on the Slides page here.
You may remember that SCs are being used by the SRA in their newly designed Qualifying Lawyers’ Transfer Scheme (QLTS). They’re being used in the Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE), currently (and I mean currently…) being run by Kaplan, which won the contract to hold the assessment. Jenny Rawstorne, SRA, and Dr Eileen Fry, Kaplan, presented on the subject at the Society of Legal Scholars (SLS) Conference, Open B Subject section, in a presentation entitled ‘QLTS – what have the doctors ever done for us?’ Brief summary & thoughts below the fold.
I was over in Dublin recently training a new group of Standardized Clients at the Law Society of Ireland. Six in total, and they were a wonderful, vibrant group of SCs -- we had a great time during the pretty intensive training sessions. Rory O'Boyle, Maeve Regan and Freda Griely from the Law Society were present throughout, and will continue to work with the SCs in refresher training & with new SCs. The SCs will be used with solicitors and later with students on the Law Society's professional progammes.
SCs are now used in at least three jurisdictions: Scotland, USA and Ireland. England and Wales next --Karen Barton and I will be training SCs next week at the University of Northumbria Law School -- we'll let you know how that goes -- possibly live blog it if we have the time...
John Garvey, Karen Barton and Paul are at the third Future Ed conference in New York Law School, presenting on the Daniel Webster programme, which includes SCs and SIMPLE. Slides here, paper here. Really an update on the project, showing what we're doing in each side of the project, and how we're bring the two forms of simulation pedagogy together, and the data on cost, feasibility and impact. Lots of interest shown in the idea. More posts later...
SCs have now been adoped by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) as part of the new Qualifying Lawyers Transfer Scheme assessment process. Paul has been working with a medical educationalist and others on a SRA Working Party chaired by Mandy Gill to develop an OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) for lawyers which will include SC activity. New regulations were drawn up, a tender process initiated and the successful bidders, Kaplan Altior, will be running the first QLTS early in 2011. More information about this in due course...
Meanwhile Paul and John Garvey will be updating the Franklin Pierce (now University of New Hampshire) initiative at the FutureEd2.0 Conference at Harvard Law School this week. More about this after the event...
Karen Barton, Michael Hughes and Paul Maharg are currently
at Franklin Pierce Law Center, in Concord, New Hampshire, working with John
Garvey and others on SIMPLE.Karen and Paul have already worked with
Franklin Pierce on the use of Standardized Clients in the
training and assessment of students in interviewing.The students are on the Center’s innovative Daniel Webster
Scholar Honors Program.The Program is an alternative to the
State’s regular Bar examination, and students are admitted upon successful
completion of the Program.
On this visit to New Hampshire, we’re helping the Law Center
to produce two simulations in SIMPLE – one in personal injury and one in civil
litigation – but what’s really exciting about this initiative is that John is aiming
to combine Standardized Clients with SIMPLE – a possible world-first…SCs will play key roles in SIMPLE
simulations, eg as client or witnesses.What we’re doing is combining two proven methods of simulation to give
students a much more immersive simulation experience, while enhancing the
formative feedback given to students and retaining standards in summative
For further information on the Daniel Webster programme and
use of Standardized Clients at Franklin Pierce, see John’s paper at SSRN.
The Standardized Client Initiative has taken a great step forward with the first cohort of Daniel Webster Scholars at Franklin Pierce Law Center becoming the first group of Law Students in the USA to take part in a high stakes interviewing assessment with Standardized Clients trained using the SCI approach.
In April of this year, Karen and Clark returned to New Hampshire to help complete the training of the Standardized Clients that was initiated in June of 2008. Over the intervening period, John Garvey and David Cleveland had worked on the scenario development and familiarization of scripts with the Clients and the next stage was to complete the assessment training and standardization. Using the tried and tested approach developed at Glasgow Graduate School of Law, we spent a very intense two days (and evenings!) with the Clients working on assessment and standard setting.
This is a process that you can't take short-cuts on and over a number of workshops using video, live interviews and lots of feedback and discussion, we arrived at the point where the New Hampshire Standardized Client group were conducting and scoring live interviews within the degree of reliability we were looking for. We had a great group of SCs who were willing to take on board all the feedback we gave and strive to get it right each time around. It is hard work, but it is always such a great feeling for the SCs to reach that point where they are confident and secure in their scoring, and for us too there is great sense of achievement at the end of the process.
The Standardised Client Initiative has got off to a tremendous start at Franklin Pierce. Our next step is to work with them to integrate Standardized Clients with a new simulation designed using the SIMPLE Platform also developed at GGSL. This will be a first for both GGSL and Franklin Pierce and another exciting project that we hope will lead the way in simulation-based Legal Education.
The SCI has taken a significant step forward. Earlier this week, Karen and I (Paul) conducted two days of SC training at Franklin Pierce Law Centre, New Hampshire, on the Daniel Webster Scholar Honours Programme. This is a programme of study that takes place in the second and third years of the JD programme at Franklin Pierce Law School, New Hampshire. Participation in the programme replaces the requirement for the Bar Exam qualification in New Hampshire.
Our SCI poster, which we'll be taking to conferences & workshops in the next couple of weeks, is available from the Publications list on the left. Copyright status: attribution-non-commercial. Let Karen or Paul know if you want to use it...
GGSL is working with Franklin Pierce Law Centre to introduce Standardized Clients to the J.D. programme there. Paul and Karen will be working with staff on the Daniel Webster Honours Programme, which is a unique feature of the second and third years at Franklin Pierce. Students who graduate from this Programme are exempted from the state Bar Exam. We shall be helping to train SCs, use them in the Programme and evaluate their use.
In addition we shall be linking the use of SCs to a SIMPLE transaction. This will be the first time that the two approaches to simulation are directly linked, and will be the basis for much future development.