Development of the transferable skill set of Irish undergraduate law students through simulated client interviews

Heverin, B., 2020. Development of the transferable skill set of Irish undergraduate law students through simulated client interviews. DLegal, Nottingham Trent University.

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Abstract

Irish higher education policy recognises that transferable skills are key to the adaptability and flexibility required of graduates. Traditionally Irish undergraduate legal education has focused on subject or disciplinary knowledge and this focus is currently reiterated by the regulatory bodies through their admission requirements for the professions. However, the destinations of law graduates are not limited to those professions and in line with higher education policy, undergraduate legal education should equip its graduates with transferable skills required in any workplace. This research identifies those skills which are deemed most important to law graduates, and also reveals deficits in their current levels of attainment. This led to the design and development of a module that addresses those deficits. An action research methodology was adopted, with a reflective, collaborative and iterative process at its core. The first phase of action research collaborated with practitioners, academics and law graduates to determine the most important skills and their levels of attainment. Communicating orally appropriately and effectively emerged as the most important skill, which also had a deficit in attainment. Two further iterative cycles of action research followed, to inform the development and then refinement of a module which facilitates the development of this skill. The key collaborators and participants in the research were the students themselves. Experiential learning was the chosen pedagogic approach, adopting a constructivist epistemology. The module focused on the initial client interview, using reflection and standardised clients for the assessment, in alignment with this pedagogic approach. Evaluation of the module endorses its effectiveness as a replicable vehicle for transferable skill development generally, not just oral communication, as well as for the enhancement of disciplinary knowledge. Development of the reflection and self-evaluation capacities of students proved fundamental, and this is identified as an area for further research and development.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Heverin, B.
Date: December 2020
Rights: The copyright in this work is held by the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any reuse of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, University, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the author.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Law School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 29 Apr 2021 15:34
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2021 15:34
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/42786

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