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Journal of Legal Education

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This article describes a study examining the development of legal reasoning skills in law students through their law school careers and reports some preliminary findings comparing the cognitive development of medical and law students. During the past two decades, scholars have begun to study the process by which medical students progress from novices to expert practitioners and the effect of different curricula on this development. Studying subjects at all levels of medical expertise-from first-year medical students to medical residents to experienced specialists in practice, these researchers have developed theories grounded in empirical findings about the reasoning process of expert physicians and the most successful methods for training them. This study is an initial attempt to extend this research program to the field of law.