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19 Conn. Pub. Int. L.J. 1 (2019-2020)

handle is hein.journals/cpilj19 and id is 1 raw text is: 











        CONNECTICUT PUBLIC

     INTEREST LAW JOURNAL


        VOLUME 19         FALL -WINTER 2019             NUMBER 1



               What Law Must Lawyers Know?


                                                     JOAN W. HOWARTHt

    What constitutes the body of legal knowledge that every lawyer must
possess? I used to know, or think I did, but no longer. I suspect no one else
knows either. This difficult question is not just an intriguing theoretical
matter but also an urgent, practical problem. Licensing regulators assume
that minimal competence in any profession requires certain fundamental
knowledge, skills, and abilities.' Bar examiners must determine what
knowledge, skills, and abilities are necessary for minimum competence as
an attorney and then design tests and other requirements to attempt to align
licensure with minimum competence. Today's tangled attorney licensing
puzzle cannot be solved without better answers to this foundational question:
what law must every lawyer know?

       I. AN INITIAL CATEGORICAL QUANDARY: CAN WE SEPARATE
                KNOWLEDGE FROM SKILLS AND ABILITY?

    Of the knowledge, skills, and abilities triad, my focus is knowledge.


    I Distinguished Visiting Professor, Boyd School of Law, UNLV; Dean Emerita, Michigan State
University College of Law. I thank the Boyd School of Law for generous research support and Claudia
Angelos, Sara Berman, Mary Lu Bilek, Carol Chomsky, Andi Curcio, Davida Finger, Alli Gerkman,
Catherine Grosso, Eileen Kaufman, Debby Merritt, Patty Salkin, Elaine Shoben, Judith Wegner, Robin
West, and participants in the West Coast Rhetoric Workshop for helpful comments and ideas.
    [T]ests used for credentialing are designed to verify that candidates have mastered the
knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) deemed necessary for work in a profession. Mark B. Raymond,
Job Analysis, Practice Analysis and the Content of Credentialing Examinations, in HANDBOOK OF TEST
DEVELOPMENT 144 (Suzanne Lane, Mark R. Raymond & Thomas M. Haladyna eds., 2016); citing to
AM. EDUC. RES. ASS'N., AM. PSYCHOL. ASS'N., & NAT'L COUNCIL ON MEAS. IN EDUC., STANDARDS
FOR EDUC. AND PSYCHOL. TESTING 174, 174-75 (2014) [hereinafter 2014 STANDARDS]. Tests used in
credentialing are designed to determine whether the essential knowledge and skills have been mastered
by the candidate. Id. at 175.

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