Teaching Law with Online Role-Playing Simulations

Ira Steven Nathenson

St. Thomas University School of Law

June 1, 2011

This document contains materials prepared for the summer 2011 conference of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning held at New York Law School. The concise materials include: a listing of useful online tools; documentation for a miniature simulation; suggested components of an "associate" case file; methodology for formative and summative evaluation; and a sample scoresheet incorporating all ten MacCrate skills.

A summary of the presentation is provided below:

Live websites provide a dynamic “sandbox” for role-playing simulations that cast students as “lawyers” acting for fictional clients. Such simulations, initially crafted for a Cyberlaw class, can also be used in a wide variety of other courses. This provides a highly configurable platform for the immersive and holistic learning of knowledge, skills, and professional identity, including realistic fact-finding, advocacy, negotiation, ethical traps, and much more. The workshop will first provide background on relevant technology and methodology. Second will be a mini role-playing exercise using the live internet. Last will be a discussion of the benefits and challenges of online simulations.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 10

Keywords: Carnegie Report, MacCrate Report, Best Practices for Legal Education, pedagogy, simulations, cyberlaw, teaching

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Date posted: June 21, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Nathenson, Ira Steven, Teaching Law with Online Role-Playing Simulations (June 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1865880 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1865880

Contact Information

Ira Steven Nathenson (Contact Author)
St. Thomas University School of Law ( email )
16401 N.W. 37th Ave.
Miami, FL 33054
United States
(305) 474-2454 (Phone)
(305) 623-2390 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://nathenson.org

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