Institute History

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Gonzaga University School of Law founded the Institute for Law School Teaching in 1991. Gonzaga professor Gerry Hess served as the Institute’s Director from 1991 through 2005. Gonzaga professors Gail Hammer and Stephen Sepinuck co-directed the Institute in 2006 and 2007.

In 2008, Washburn University School of Law joined Gonzaga as a co-sponsor of the Institute. Professor Michael Hunter Schwartz of Washburn and Gerry Hess of Gonzaga co-directed the renamed Institute for Law Teaching and Learning from 2008 to 2013. Professor Sophie Sparrow of the University of New Hampshire School of Law served as the Institute’s consultant.

In July of 2013 University of Arkansas at Little Rock, William H. Bowen School of Law became the third co-sponsor of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning, joining Gonzaga and Washburn. Michael Hunter Schwartz stepped down as a co-director of the Institute and continues to work on Institute projects as an Institute consultant, along with Sophie Sparrow. Kelly Terry of Bowen assumed the role of a co-director of the Institute. Beginning in January 2014, Sandra Simpson of Gonzaga and Emily Grant of Washburn became co-directors, and Gerry Hess became an ILTL consultant.

The Institute’s programs and resources have continued to grow since its inception, and currently include:

  • Two annual teaching and learning conferences.
  • Twice-annual issues of The Law Teacher, which publishes short articles and book reviews on teaching and learning authored by a wide variety of law teachers representing dozens of law schools around the country.
  • An elaborate set of web resources, including books, articles, and videos on teaching methods, assessment, and team-based learning.
  • An Alert Service offering an article of the month, an idea of the month, and other announcements about law teaching.
  • Law teacher training workshops to United States and foreign law teachers (Institute faculty have conducted more than 200 such workshops at more than 75 United States law schools and for law teachers from Canada, Chile, Germany, Iran, Japan, the Republic of Georgia, and Turkey).

The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning looks forward to continuing to serve legal educators in the United States and around the globe.

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