The CSALE Study
CSALE conducts a long-term longitudinal study that captures
significant aspects of the growth and development of applied legal education,
its diverse substantive foci, its methodologies, its instructors, and its
integration into the American legal academy. The study - conducted primarily
through a national survey every three years - paints a very detailed picture
of applied legal education and educators. And because the same data is gathered
every three years, the study also captures the evolution of applied legal
education over time.
The Master Survey
CSALE's Survey of Applied Legal Education consists of four parts. Based on user feedback from the 2007-08 Survey, in the 2010-11 Survey CSALE modified a number of questions and altered the distribution method of several parts of the Survey. You can download both of these surveys on the left hand side of this page. Below is a description of the 2010-11 Survey.
The first and primary part of the Survey is the Master Survey. It gathers demographic information about each school and provides an overview of its applied legal education program and insight into hiring and retention practices for applied legal educators. The Master Survey is also the vehicle through which the various "sub-surveys" described below are electronically assigned to the proper parties.
Master Survey questions are grouped into seven sections. Section A captures important characteristics of each responding law school including: JD enrollment in the school, geographic region, metropolitan setting, enrollment in in-house, live client clinics and field placement programs, structure of applied legal education departments, and hiring and retention practices for applied legal educators.
Master Survey Section B creates an overview of the clinical and field placement courses at the respondent's school. It does so by gathering the substantive focus of each of these courses, school policies about enrollment in such courses, and trends in student demand for the courses. Section C gathers information about institutional support for, and challenges to these courses.
Master Survey Section D electronically signs out the Live-Client Clinic Sub-Survey to the director of each live client clinic at the school. It does so by gathering the name and email address of each director and emailing each a unique link to the Live-Client Clinic Sub-Survey which the director is asked to complete. Section E functions identically to Section D except it assigns out to each field placement program director the Field Placement Program Sub-Survey. Section F functions like Sections D & E except it assigns out the Faculty Sub-Survey to each person teaching in a field placement program an/or live-client clinic.
Master Survey Section G collects information on promotion and retention standards for applied legal educators. Additionally, it asks respondents to submit a copy of their school's promotion and retention standards for posting on CSALE's website. Finally, Section H collects feedback for use in future iterations of the Survey
The Sub Surveys
Each of the three Sub-Surveys discussed above is answered independently of the Master Survey and gives rise to a separate "pocket" of data related to their focus. In the Live-Client Clinic Sub-Survey, CSALE gathers detailed information on each in-house, live client clinic identified in Section B of the Master Survey. Respondents provide information on a wide variety of topics including: enrollment and its terms; credit load and pedagogy by course component (classroom and field work); faculty teaching in the two different components; grading procedures; pre- and co-requisites; supervision techniques; and the amount of legal services delivered each term by each clinic. The Field Placement Program Sub-Survey is nearly identical to the Live-Client Clinic Sub-Survey except that its focus is each field placement program identified in Section B of the Master Survey and takes into account the pedagogical and supervisory differences between field placement programs and live client clinics.
The Faculty Sub-Survey is a short survey targeted at each person teaching or supervising an in-house, live client clinic or field placement program. This completely anonymous sub-survey captures biographical information about the respondent (race, gender, years teaching, etc...). It also collects the defining characteristics of the respondent's employment, including, among other things: the nature of employment relationship; promotion and retention standards; compensation; supervision ratios; voting rights; committee participation; and support by and rights within his or her institution.