Techniques for Teaching Law
by Gerald F. Hess and Steven Friedland (1999)
Techniques for Teaching Law addresses a broad range of pedagogical issues in the context of legal education:
- the teaching and learning environment,
- course and class planning,
- questioning and discussion techniques,
- visual tools,
- experiential learning,
- collaborative learning,
- writing exercises,
- feedback to teachers, and
- evaluation of students.
The first chapter describes three models of learning and three conceptions of effective teaching. The subsequent eleven chapters each address a particular pedagogical issue, beginning with a summary of the applicable educational principles, followed by teaching ideas and techniques contributed by experienced legal educators.
The heart of this work is the collection of teaching ideas. The 137 teaching and learning tips are innovative and classroom tested. The collection covers all types of law school courses:
- first-year ("Negotiation and Drafting in Contracts" by Karen Harwood, Gonzaga)
- upper-level ("Wills and Trusts Projects" by Robert Whitman, Connecticut )
- writing ("Reading Aloud to Illustrate Excellent Writing" by Kate O'Neil, Washington) and
- clinical ("Mooting for Clinical Teachers" by Jean Koh Peters, Yale).
Some of the ideas introduce fresh approaches to basic classroom planning and management matters:
- "Using Video to Learn Students' Names" (Howard Chapman, Kent)
- "The Ten Commandments of [the First-Year Course of Your Choice]" (Andrew McClurg, Arkansas-Little Rock) and
- "Family Day" (Karen Gross, New York).
Many of the methods involve active learning:
- "Student-Created Graphics" (Stephen Sepinuck, Gonzaga)
- "Simulation Led by Practicing Lawyers" (Elizabeth Reilly, Akron) and
- "Structuring Collaborative Exercises" (Paula Lustbader, Seattle).
Others offer tips for using technology in teaching law:
- "Electronic Classroom" (Stephen Sowle and Richard Warner, Kent) and
- "The Video 'Bite'" (Lee Stuesser, Manitoba).
Finally, the contributors offer insight about creative ways to give students feedback and to evaluate student performance:
- "Practice Exams, Practice Exercises, and Practical Advice" (Eric Mills Holmes, Appalachian)
- "Evaluation of Oral Lawyering Skills through a Video Exam" (Larry Grosberg, New York) and
- "Practicing What We Preach and Testing What We Teach" (Greg Sergienko, Southern Illinois).
Table of Contents
- Contents and Preface (486 KB PDF)
- Chapter 1: Teaching and Learning (866 KB PDF)
- Chapter 2: Course and Class Planning (1.5 MB PDF)
- Chapter 3: Questioning and Discussion Techniques (1.2 MB PDF)
- Chapter 4: Visual Tools (1.2 MB PDF)
- Chapter 5: Real-Life Learning Opportunities (1.3 MB PDF)
- Chapter 6: Reconstructing the Classroom Through Collaborative Learning (960 KB PDF)
- Chapter 7: Computers (1.8 MB PDF)
- Chapter 8: Simulations and Role-Playing (1.4 MB PDF)
- Chapter 9: Writing Exercises (1.6 MB PDF)
- Chapter 10: Classroom Assessment (1.1 MB PDF)
- Chapter 11: The Evaluation of Students (1.8 MB PDF)
- Chapter 12: Teaching and Learning Environment (1.9 MB PDF)
- Index (371 KB PDF)
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