One factor that has received much attention in recent years is “grit,” which has been defined as “perseverance and passion for long-term goals.” Although grit has been studied in a number of different contexts, grit is understudied in the context of legal education. In light of the existing research regarding grit and performance, and the ongoing interest in law student learning, motivation, and performance, we undertook a research project to investigate the relationship between grit and law school academic performance. Although we hypothesized that grit would be positively related to law school GPA, we did not find a statistically significant relationship (positive or negative) between grit and law school GPA. In addition to examining the relationship between grit and law school GPA, we also conducted exploratory analyses to compare the grit scores of women and men. These analyses indicated a statistically significant difference between the grit levels of female and male participants, with female participants having higher levels of grit. The results of our research project raise questions about the role of grit in legal education and, most importantly, point the way for future research regarding grit, legal education, and law practice.
The remainder of this article will discuss our research and the implications of this research. Specifically, Part II of the article situates our research within existing research regarding grit and performance, and regarding the law school experiences of female and male law students. Part III describes the methodology of our research project. Part IV presents the results of the project. Part V of the article discusses these results and the implications of these results. Part V also discusses the limitations of this research and identifies avenues for further research regarding law students and grit. Part VI concludes.
Recommended CitationEmily Zimmerman and Leah Brogan, Grit and Legal Education, 36 Pace L. Rev. 112 (2015)
Available at: http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/plr/vol36/iss1/4