Law School Gains Membership in National Legal Education Consortium

Regent University School of Law continues to advance its commitment to student-centered learning.

The school was recently granted membership in Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers (ETL), a selective consortium of 24 law schools under the auspices of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS). ETL’s goal is to facilitate and encourage best practices in legal education in order to train new lawyers to the highest standards of competence and professionalism.

In order to be considered for membership in ETL, a law school must undergo a thorough assessment and meet a number of criteria including a demonstrated commitment to the legal education reforms outlined in the Carnegie Foundation’s groundbreaking 2007 report, Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Profession of Law.

Professor Ben Madison, who was elected a fellow of the ETL consortium, observes how the consortium offers for the first time prospective law students concrete information on the quality of the legal education they will receive. 

“A law student should recognize the consortium as an independent source that will confirm whether the school actually prepares students for law practice—not just by teaching legal concepts, but also by training students in the skills of lawyering and in developing an ethical framework so that they can be true professionals,” Madison said.

The Carnegie report found that most law schools were deficient in “teaching students how to use legal thinking in the complexity of actual law practice” and were failing to “complement the focus on skill in legal analyses with effective support for developing ethical and social skills.”

ETL consortium member schools, which include USC, Stanford, Washington & Lee, Vanderbilt, Cornell, Georgetown, and others, utilize the Carnegie model of legal education to innovate legal education across three “value sets”: knowledge, practice, and professionalism. The goal is to develop lawyers with excellent advocacy skills, with an understanding of the nature and purpose of the legal profession, and who are committed to the ethical practice of law.

"We are very excited to be accepted to the ETL consortium and look forward to collaborating with others in the legal academy who are at the forefront of important innovations in legal education,” said Associate Dean for Student Affairs Natt Gantt. “We are also looking forward to sharing the Carnegie-related innovations we continue to implement at Regent, in particular our work in developing students’ professional identities.”

Regent’s ongoing commitment to the principles explored in Educating Lawyers continues to yield results in the form of exceptional metrics on the Law School Survey of Student Engagement, particularly in regards to ethical and professional formation.

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