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Private law schools are more academically challenging than public law schools, according to the results of the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE), a survey co-sponsored by the Association of American Law Schools and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The study, released Jan. 3, found that students at private law schools reported working harder than they thought they could to meet faculty expectations and that exams more often required them to do their best work. In addition, the study found that students at law schools with enrollments of fewer than 500 people were more likely than those at larger law schools to participate in class discussions, but students at larger schools were more likely to participate in volunteer or pro bono activities. Among other findings: African-American students more frequently asked questions in class and participated in class discussions than other students; third-year students more often went to class unprepared compared with other students; and about one-third of law school students said they will owe more than $100,000 in law school loans. The LSSSE, an annual survey since 2003, was based on responses from 27,000 law students.

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