Measuring the Impact of Social Justice Teaching: Research Design and Oversight

Lisa Bliss, Sylvia Caley, Leslie Wolf


Research and the production of scholarship is a fundamental part of being a legal academic. Such endeavors identify issues and answer questions that further understanding of the law, the profession, and the justice system itself. Research and scholarship in the legal academy traditionally meant the study of law and legal theory. A growing body of legal academics are focusing research and scholarship on legal education itself, as well as research that measures the impact of legal education on the development of students’ practical and professional skills.  The impact of clinical legal education is an important aspect of this scholarship.[1] This article explores how thoughtfully designed research projects can measure the impact of social justice teaching, using examples and experience gleaned from the evaluation and research component of a medical legal partnership[2] and its affiliated law school clinic. The article examines principles of good research design, the art of formulating research questions, and the potential uses for resulting data. It also identifies critical steps and issues to consider when developing a research project.


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Copyright (c) 2017 Lisa Bliss

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ISSN 1467-1069
ESSN 2056-3930