Legal Studies Reasoning Profile (LSRP)
The Legal Studies Reasoning Profile (LSRP) is a two-part tool designed to measure the core critical thinking skills and personal attributes of lawyers, legal professionals and of students in law, pre-law, paralegal, criminal justice, government and international relations programs.
The hallmark of the lawyer is the ability and disposition to engage problems, make arguments, evaluate options, and render opinions using skillful reasoning. If lawyers are not both willing and able to use critical thinking in their work, their chances of success in professional practice or in legal education are small.
The LSRP is a valuable tool for hiring and the professional development of people engaged in the professional practice of Law and related paralegal professional roles. This powerful and practical measurement instrument has many workplace and educational applications. Our clients use the LSRP to provide a diagnostic assessment of candidates at entry to Law School and legal education programs, to identify weaknesses in individuals and groups, and to guide educational or staff development planning. Similarly, it serves well as a tool to assess the attainment of critical thinking as a learning outcome in all levels of Law education curricula.
The successful law professional or law student must draw judiciously on the knowledge base of their profession to analyze problems and to formulate, evaluate, and re-evaluate, a wide range of client-related decisions. An individual’s strength and weaknesses in these skills will impact their career success.
Part One of the LSRP measures the legal reasoning habits of mind and professional attributes regarded as essential for legal studies students and practicing professionals. Part Two of the LSRP is an objective measure of the core reasoning skills essential for purposeful reflective judgments in legal educational and professional practice settings. Together they provide comprehensive metrics on the strengths and weaknesses of legal reasoning.
The items on this instrument have been specially designed to appeal more directly to those who currently work in the legal profession, to those currently undertaking legal studies, and to those who aspire to become legal professionals. The LSRP is not a test of legal content knowledge. Reasoning skills questions are set in professional, educational, or common legal workplace situations, and no specialized legal knowledge is required. Items supply the necessary content for the applications of reasoning skills.
The LSRP can be administered in 90 minutes.
Scale Scores Reported
Consistent with Insight Assessment’s reputation for excellence in the development of nationally and internationally used reasoning and critical thinking assessment tools, the LSRP scales reveal a clear and distinct profile of the test-taker, predicting how willing and able they will be to think well in professional situations
Part 1 Legal Reasoning Habits of Mind: mental focus, intellectual integrity, mental rigor, foresight, cognitive maturity, professional confidence, communicative confidence, teamwork, peer expression, directness
Part 2 Legal Reasoning Skills: Overall reasoning skills, analysis, inference, evaluation, deduction, induction
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The LSRP is a two-part scientifically developed measure of cognitive ability which targets the core reasoning skills essential for purposeful reflective judgments in legal educational and professional practice settings, and the reasoning habits of mind and professional attributes regarded as essential for legal studies students and practicing professionals. The LSRP is not a test of legal content knowledge. Rather, it addresses reasoning skills, habits of mind and professional interaction styles which support success in the study and practice of law.
Part One of the LSRP: Legal reasoning habits of mind and professional attributes regarded as essential for legal studies students and practicing professionals.
Part 1 uses the familiar “Agree – Disagree” format; and it can be completed comfortably in less than 30 minutes on-line.
Results are reported for each test-taker on all ten habits of mind and personal attributes assessed by Part 1. First the scale is named and described. Then the individual’s score is presented using one of three tags – typically these are “Strongly Manifested,” “Inconsistently Manifested,” or “Not Manifested.” To assist in the interpretation of the results, a further characterization of the general tendencies or preferences of individuals within each category is then displayed.
Legal Reasoning Habits of Minds and Professional Attributes Measured by the LSRP Part 1
Mental focus is the discipline or habit of being diligent, systematic, task-oriented, organized, and clear-headed. A positive score indicates a person who endeavors to stay on task and approach problems and learning in systematic, focused, organized, and timely way. Mental focus is valuable because it directs attention to the duties and responsibilities of the task at hand.
Intellectual integrity is the discipline of striving to be thorough and honest to learn the truth or to reach the best decision possible in a given situation. A person with intellectual integrity has a driving desire to follow reasons and evidence courageously wherever they may lead. Individuals who strongly manifest intellectual integrity value objectivity, evidence-based decision making, and the courageous, fair-minded, and complete pursuit of the best possible knowledge in any given situation
Mental rigor is the discipline to work hard in an effort to analyze, interpret and achieve a deep understanding of complex material. Individuals who strongly manifest mental rigor are willing to engage difficult material and to work hard to analyze complicated situations and problems. They display a desire for learning, and a concern to achieve a deep understanding of events and their causes.
Foresight is the habit of approaching problems with a view toward anticipating consequences and outcomes. A foresightful person values clarity and the accurate interpretation of complex problem situations. Individuals who strongly manifest foresight value getting the problem right, understanding the reasons pro and con, and projecting the likely outcomes of various options.
Cognitive maturity indicates an awareness that there may be multiple potential perspectives on any given situation, problem, proposal or issue. A person who strongly manifests cognitive maturity endeavors to take this into consideration when making important decisions. This person is likely to move forward when an expeditious decision is required, to hold off making a decision if there is time to give the matter fuller consideration, or to reconsider decisions if new evidence emerges.
Professional confidence is the self-assurance felt by newly assigned, enrolled, hired or newly promoted individuals regarding their readiness to handle the stress, competitiveness, vocabulary, workload, instructional or orientation methods, and related complexities associated with their new role. Individuals who strongly manifest professional confidence have a positive sense of efficacy in their professional role.
Communicative confidence measures confidence in oral and written communication and assesses attitudes about technical writing. Individuals who strongly manifest communicative confidence believe that they have the ability to lead groups through the presentation of oral arguments, to read well, and to write effectively about analyses and opinions.
Teamwork describes a style of interacting that may be collaborative, competitive or a mix of both depending on what is called for in a given situation. Teamwork scores fall into three categories: The “Consistent Collaborator” style may be well suited for professional responsibilities requiring diplomacy and compromise, such as interest based negotiation and arbitration. The “Lone Competitor” style may be well suited to highly competitive practice settings including potentially confrontational responsibilities. The “Situational Competitor or Collaborator” is comfortable with collaborative effort and with individual competition as well. This style is most effective when working within a collaborative group charged with competing effectively against other groups.
Expression describes a style of interacting with peers that may be quietly observational, expressively performing, or a mix of both depending on context. Expression scores fall into three categories: The “Quiet Observer” prefers to stay in the background and observe others even in social situations with peers. The “Expressive Performer” tends to be highly demonstrative and expressive, particularly when with their peers. The “Situational Observer or Performer” may present as a quiet observer or as an expressive performer depending on the context. They are comfortable letting others do the talking or, if the occasion demands, being the one who presents information, explanations and analyses.
Directness describes a style of behaving and speaking in relationship to questions or pressure from peers or superiors aimed at seeking their approval, or forthrightly declaring one’s views, or a mix of both depending on the situation. Directness scores fall into three categories: The “Approval Seeker” tends to present to peers, supervisors and others as being highly agreeable, even if he or she must exaggerate positive characteristics and conceal weaknesses to do so. A “Forthright Declarer” prefers to describe matters exactly as he or she sees them, to speak bluntly, occasionally to the point of painful honesty, and to make decisions with little concern for whether or not others would approve or agree. “Situationally Direct” individuals may exhibit forthrightness or may withhold their true opinions depending on the situation.
Part Two of the LSRP is an objective measure of the core reasoning skills essential for purposeful reflective judgments in legal educational and professional practice settings.
Part 2 can be completed in less than 60 minutes on-line.
Success on Part 2 demands the sustained application of thinking skills, focus and effort in an environment free from distractions. The questions on Part 2 present scenarios of varying complexity across a range of topics. Sufficient information is presented to enable the test-taker to reason to the best answer from among the choices provided. High scores indicate the consistently correct application of one’s skills in analysis, inference, evaluation, induction and deduction skills. The Overall Reasoning Skills score and scores on each sub-scale of Part Two of the LSRP are reported as numerical results and as one of the categorical results “Superior,” “Strong,” “Moderate” or “Not Manifested.” Each sub-scale is described on the individual test-taker’s score report.
Reasoning Skills Measured by the LSRP Part 2
Reasoning Skills Overall
Analytical skills are used to identify assumptions, reasons, themes, and the evidence used in making arguments or offering explanations. Analytical skills enable us to consider all the key elements in any given situation, and to determine how those elements relate to one another. People with strong analytical skills notice important patterns and details. People use analysis to gather the most relevant information from spoken language, documents, signs, charts, graphs, and diagrams.
Inference skills enable us to draw conclusions from reasons, evidence, observations, experiences, or our values and beliefs. Using Inference, we can predict the most likely consequences of the options we may be considering. Inference enables us to see the logical consequences of the assumptions we may be making. Sound inferences rely on accurate information. People with strong inference skills draw logical or highly reliable conclusions using all forms of analogical, probabilistic, empirical, and mathematical reasoning.
Evaluative reasoning skills enable us to assess the credibility of sources of information and the claims they make. We use these skills to determine the strength or weakness of arguments. Applying evaluation skills we can judge the quality of analyses, interpretations, explanations, inferences, options, opinions, beliefs, ideas, proposals, and decisions. Strong explanation skills can support high-quality evaluation by providing the evidence, reasons, methods, criteria, or assumptions behind the claims made and the conclusions reached.
Deductive reasoning is rigorously logical and clear cut. Deductive skills are used whenever we determine the precise logical consequences of a given set of rules, conditions, beliefs, values, policies, principles, procedures, or terminology. Deductive reasoning is deciding what to believe or what to do in precisely defined contexts that rely on strict rules and logic. Deductive validity results in a conclusion which absolutely cannot be false, if the assumptions or premises from which we started all are true. Deductive validity leaves no room for uncertainty. That is, unless we decide to change the very meanings of our words or the grammar of our language.
Inductive reasoning relies on estimating likely outcomes. Decision making in contexts of uncertainty relies on inductive reasoning. Inductive decisions can be based on analogies, case studies, prior experience, statistical analyses, simulations, hypotheticals, trusted testimony, and the patterns we may recognize in a set of events, experiences, symptoms or behaviors. Inductive reasoning always leaves open the possibility, however remote, that a highly probable conclusion might be mistaken. Although it does not yield certainty, inductive reasoning can provide a solid basis for confidence in our conclusions and a reasonable basis for action.
The Legal Studies Reasoning Profile (LSRP) has been designed to deliver high quality objective metrics on the strengths and weaknesses of key aspects of thinking.
LSRP reports deliver individual and group results in a presentation ready format. Each report includes a wide range of statistical and demographic information about individuals and/or test-taker groups. Test-taker scores and group summaries are presented with inLSRPpretative analysis by Insight Assessment measurement scientists.
The LSRP, Part 1, measures and reports on an array of reasoning skill scale scores: Analysis, Inference, Evaluation, Deduction, Induction and Overall Reasoning Skills. The LSRP, Part 2, measures and reports on an array of legal reasoning habits of mind and professional attributes: Mental Focus, Intellectual Integrity, Mental Rigor, Foresight, Cognitive Maturity, Professional Confidence, Communicative Confidence, Teamwork, Expression and Directness.
The Assessment Report package includes:
- Individual test-taker analytics:
- an overall score of thinking ability (Overall Score)
- a categorical interpretation of the strength of the Overall Score and scale scores
- a norm-referenced percentile ranking (applicable to skills assessments only)
- scale scores to indicate which of the skills areas are particularly strong and which are weaker and require training attention.
- test administrators control whether test-takers receive their individual results after testing.
- Group analytics include:
- descriptive statistics and presentation ready graphic representation of the average Overall score and scale scores for the group
- descriptive graphics and representations including size of the group, mean, median, standard deviation, standard error of the mean, lowest score, highest score, first quartile score and third quartile score. To see video about interpreting group report histograms
- descriptive statistics of the demographic characteristics of the test-taker group (if collected
- the average percentile of group as compared to a pre-selected external norm group (applicable to skills assessments only). For more information on norm-referenced scores
- Electronic data files spreadsheet with all scale scores and demographic responses.
- User Manual which includes chapters on interpreting individual and group test-taker scores using our 4-Step Process.
Insight Assessment clients depend on the comprehensive data and analysis in a LSRP report to provide the insights needed to achieve their assessment goals. Clients are currently using individual data for professional development, student or inLSRPn placement, hiring, advising, competency training. Group data is being used for new cohort assessment, outcomes assessment, demonstrating the quality of an educational or training program, demonstrating group proficiency, staff development, admissions and more.
Clients can customize their results package with additional analyses, graphics and inLSRPpretative text discussing your scores in relationship to your particular goals and objectives. For further information, see Insight Assessment Reports and Analytics.
As a qualified purchaser, we offer the option of purchasing a preview of the assessment experience.
A preview provides you with one or more opportunities to view and experience the assessment from the perspective of the individual being assessed and to see the reporting options.
Your account representative will set up your preview of the instrument on mobile devices or on computers. The preview includes the profile page, an example of the assessment itself, and an example of the individual report that will be provided at completion of the assessment.
Each preview also includes a digital copy of the user manual and resource guide for the specific instrument you are viewing. User manuals provide:
- a brief description of each metric being assessed by the instrument;
- a description of how to interpret both individual and group assessment results;
- a discussion of validity and reliability for the measures;
- all necessary information about administration of the assessment;
- many additional resources that we hope you will find useful for designing your assessment project.
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