Review: “Learning” Research and Legal Education

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By Gerry Hess from Gonzaga University School of Law

Donald J. Kochan, “Learning” Research and Legal Education: A Brief Overview and Selected Bibliographical Survey, 40 Southwestern Law Review 449 (2011) [Read fulltext (304 KB PDF)] (Reprinted with permission of the author)

“At its core, education is about learning. Every educator, legal or otherwise, must at the same time be both a teacher and a student in the learning enterprise. Luckily, there is a wide literature to help us in these roles and it is growing every day. It should be a goal of every legal educator to appreciate this area of scholarship, understand its breadth and importance, and engage with it in our teaching and writing.”

That challenge begins Professor Kochan’s helpful article. In it he surveys the literature and provides citations to leading books, journal articles, and web resources in the following areas:

  • Learning in general and in law school specifically
  • Teaching in law school
  • Legal research and writing
  • Thinking like a lawyer
  • How to succeed in law school.

The literature on teaching and learning is vast. Professor Kochan provides a user-friendly introduction to a slice of that literature. This article will help guide law teachers who want to locate resources to improve their teaching and their students’ learning. In addition, Professor Kochan provides an efficient overview of this field for anyone seeking to explore topics in depth and to contribute to the scholarship of teaching and learning.

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