- Responding to the New ABA Standards: Best Practices in Outcomes Assessment (at Boston University School of Law), April 2, 2016
- Real World Readiness (at Washburn University School of Law), June 10-11, 2016
Idea For October 2015
Who Wants to Be a Professor?
While teaching Professional Responsibility this semester, I realized that Model Rule 1.15 regarding trust accounts and lawyer billing is dry and boring, yet vitally important to the typical lawyer. To make things interesting, we played a game called "Who Wants to Be a Professor?" I teach this class out of a book by Professors Brooks Holland and Leah Christensen, titled "Professional Responsibility: From the Classroom to the Practice of Law." The book has a plethora of exercises and hypotheticals. Without regard, this subject is boring. Enter the game. The students have law firms already established but you could just have them form groups. I gave each group a section of the rule (but you could use case holdings) and gave them 60 minutes to design a multiple choice question, five possible answers, and all of the explanations. I told them that after they were all done, we were going to have the students take each firms' quiz question. The law firm would then have to defend their question, their answer, and the proper explanations. Each group would have 10 minutes to present and defend. I also told them that after everyone has presented, the law firms would submit their vote for the best question (and the students could not vote for their own question). The winning law firm would get some extra credit.
Gonzaga University School of Law
Article For October 2015
Carol L. Chomsky, Casebooks and the Future of Contracts Pedagogy, 66 Hastings Law Journal 879 (2015) [Read fulltext at Hastings Law Journal website (151 KB PDF)]
In spite of the calls to enhance our courses by incorporating skills-building role-plays, collaborative small group exercises, and ripped-from-the-headlines real-life illustrations, the core of nearly every law school course remains the casebook. Casebooks drive course content and design more than anything else (possibly even more than the professor), and similarly are hugely relevant to student outcomes from and experience in class. Legal education has and continues to evolve; casebook content and design must therefore evolve as well.
Washburn University School of Law