Thinking Like an Expert Lawyer: Measuring Specialist Legal Expertise Through Think-Aloud Problem Solving and Verbal Protocol Analysis

  • Peter MacMillan

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


This empirical study identifies and measures ways in which legal specialists with different levels of expertise (but the same technical legal knowledge) think differently when assessing legal risk in information-limited and time-constrained contexts. The insights of this research has the potential to improve the assessment methodologies used in lawyer accreditation schemes, change how users of legal services assess the expertise of legal specialists, increase the effectiveness of in-house training programs developed within law firms and by other legal service providers, and lead to new pedagogical approaches to the design and delivery of post-graduate, mid-career courses offered by law schools. They also provide a new foundation for scholarly research into the cognitive development of specialist legal expertise.
Date of Award10 Oct 2015
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorNickolas James (Supervisor) & Peter Earl (Supervisor)

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