LAW EDUCATOR: COURSES, MATERIALS & TEACHING eJOURNAL

"Duty to Rescue? Exploring Legal Analysis Through the Lens of Photojournalists’ Storytelling Dilemmas" Free Download
Iselin M. Gambert (2014) Duty to rescue? Exploring legal analysis through the lens of photojournalists’ storytelling dilemmas, The Law Teacher, 48:2, 140-153, DOI: 10.1080/03069400.2014.914688
GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2014-47
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-47

ISELIN MAGDALENE GAMBERT, George Washington University - Law School
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In depicting scenes of tragedy, what happens when photojournalists become the story? Do photojournalists have a duty to rescue those they photograph? Should they? This article will use a series of iconic images – and the stories of the photojournalists behind the camera – to illustrate how exploring these questions can be a provocative vehicle through which to engage new law students in legal writing and analysis. The article focuses on an exercise that centers around a fictional “Duty to Rescue? statute modeled after European statutes of the same kind. The exercise is anchored by four images – three still photographs and one image that is part of a short documentary film – of people in tragic and near-death situations. The article explores ways to use the stories behind these images to engage law students in the question of whether the photojournalists who took the images had violated the fictional Duty to Rescue statute, and concludes with a discussion of ideas on how the basic exercise can be modified and/or expanded, including but not limited to raising issues of morality-based lawmaking, ethics, fairness, and differences in law across cultures.

"Using a Communication Perspective to Teach Relational Lawyering" Free Download
Nevada Law Journal, Vol. 15, 2014
Drexel University School of Law Research Paper No. 2014-A-05

SUSAN L. BROOKS, Drexel University School of Law
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In today’s brave new world of legal education, many of us are redefining our goals as educators to include relational competencies, including empathy, self-awareness, listening skills, and practical judgment. Recent developments affecting legal education support a growing recognition of a need for teaching relational skills as part of a push for more practical skills training. So, now the big questions are: can we actually teach empathy and other relational skills? And if so, what does it look like to teach them in law school? This article offers affirmative and creative responses to these questions. It builds on my two decades of work as a law teacher and scholar that is grounded in prior professional training and experience as a social worker. The work I have done thus far reaffirms three fundamental beliefs: (1) relational lawyering is teachable and learnable; (2) effective lawyering is as much, if not more, about relationships, as it is about outcomes; and (3) lawyers with strong relational skills are likely to be happier and more satisfied with their careers. So, how can we teach a relational approach to lawyering? One useful and promising approach is what I am calling a communication perspective. This article describes a communication perspective, and it demonstrates how to use communication as a way in to teaching relational skills in several different contexts, including dedicated courses and pervasively throughout law schools.

"Discussing Advocacy Skills in Traditional Doctrinal Courses" Free Download
NYLS Legal Studies Research Paper

STEPHEN A. NEWMAN, New York Law School
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Can teaching students in doctrinal courses, using traditional case-oriented materials, convey some of the skills lawyers need to practice law effectively? While the recent interest in and debate over training practice-ready lawyers makes this a timely question, my thinking about this harks back to the mid-1990s, when Harry Wellington, then dean of New York Law School, suggested that faculty members consider teaching law from the lawyer’s perspective rather than from the perspective of either the judge or the legal scholar.

In traditional doctrinal courses in law school, like my own in family law, coverage is broad and time is short. Despite the pressures of time, there is a way to incorporate discussion of various skills of the lawyer into these courses. I here suggest that in a modest but meaningful way, professors teaching doctrinal courses might inject into class discussions matters such as the role of the lawyer in gathering evidence, using narrative techniques in presenting evidence, narrowing legal claims, naming and labeling parties, counseling clients, and dealing with experts.

Regular additions to class discussion of such matters could help students see the connections between doctrinal law and practice, stimulate thinking about how lawyers go about making a persuasive case on behalf of their clients, and reinforce the student’s learning in skills and experiential learning courses. I offer some examples from my own course, with the expectation that instructors of other doctrinal courses will have their own ideas for incorporating into class discussions these ways of thinking about the lawyer’s job.

A modest degree of discussion along the lines outlined in this essay might help show students the vital connections between reading judicial opinions in an academically rigorous manner, and practicing law in a persuasive, imaginative, and artful way.

"Valuable Learning, Unwelcome Assessment: What LLB and JD Students Really Think About Group Work" Free Download
Sydney Law Review, Forthcoming
UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2014-40

ALEX STEEL, University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law
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ANNA HUGGINS, University of New South Wales Faculty of Law
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JULIAN LAURENS, University of New South Wales (UNSW)
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This article contributes to current debates about the appropriate role of group work in legal curricula by providing insights into the attitudes of Bachelor of Laws (‘LLB’) and Juris Doctor (‘JD’) students towards such tasks. It begins by reviewing arguments for incorporating group work in legal education, both as a result of the recognition of its educational benefits, and as a response to increasing regulatory expectations regarding student collaboration skills. The article then reports the findings of a UNSW Law School Student Assessment Survey designed to determine how law students perceive group work and its assessment in law. One of the most striking findings is that many of the law students surveyed recognise and appreciate the learning and skills development benefits of group tasks, but are resistant to summative assessment of group work. Moreover, there are marked differences in attitude between LLB and JD students, and across year cohorts within those degrees. These findings suggest that further thought needs to be directed towards the specific purposes underpinning the choice of group work as a pedagogical tool, and assessment that is congruent with those purposes, taking into account the varying needs and experiences of different cohorts of students. The article concludes by considering whether meaningful group work can exist without summative assessment.

"Clarifying Assessment: Developing Typologies for Forms of Assessment in Law" Free Download
Journal of the Australasian Law Teachers Association, 2013
UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2014-39

ALEX STEEL, University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law
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Law students are expected to complete a range of assessment throughout their degree, and do so with varying levels of success. Increasingly, research has examined the ways in which student performance can be enhanced. While much focus has been on how to best to provide students with feedback that can be acted on, this paper examines the extent to which standardisation of the way in which assessment tasks are described could assist students. The use of the same name to describe different variations of an assessment task can create confusion for students and for new members of staff. Research demonstrates that students find it difficult to understand tacit knowledge embedded in assessment descriptions and feedback, and could benefit from clearer explanations of cognitive activities and product forms. Additionally, it is clear that student dialogue over the meaning of assessment requirements is valued by students. In order to assist with this process this paper suggests the development of official typologies of assessment and authoritative explanations of assessment requirements across a course of study.

"Broader Social Context as a Lens for Learning: Teaching Criminal Law" Free Download
Disciplines : the lenses of learning. Ed. Kathryn Coleman and Adele Flood. Common Ground Publishing, 2013.

ALEX STEEL, University of New South Wales (UNSW) - Faculty of Law
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This chapter considers how best to teach criminal law in broader social contexts and beyond a focus on positivist doctrinal accounts. It provides examples of how broader social science research could be included within a criminal law curriculum.

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This eJournal is designed to offer a vehicle for law teachers to share information and materials about teaching. All materials related to law teaching are encouraged. This includes casebooks, reviews of casebooks, supplementary materials (for your own or someone else's book), lecture notes, class summaries, outlines, syllabi, problems and other teaching materials. It also includes scholarship about teaching. We hope that Law Educator will grow in future years to include a full range of teaching materials, including PowerPoint slides, Excel spreadsheets, video content and other material.

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Advisory Board

Law Educator: Courses, Materials & Teaching eJournal

CRAIG H. ALLEN
Judson Falknor Professor of Law, University of Washington - School of Law, Interim Director, UW Arctic Law and Policy Institute

DOROTHY ANDREA BROWN
Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law

JOHN S. DZIENKOWSKI
University of Texas - School of Law, The Center for Global Energy, International Arbitration, and Environmental Law

HEATHER GERKEN
J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law, Yale University - Law School

JAMES RUSSELL GORDLEY
W.R. Irby Chair in Law, Tulane University Law School

GERALD HESS
Professor of Law, Gonzaga University - School of Law

CYNTHIA LEE
Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School

HOWARD LESNICK
Jefferson B. Fordham Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School

DAVID I. LEVINE
Professor of Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law

GRANT S. NELSON
Pepperdine University - School of Law

ROGER E. SCHECHTER
affiliation not provided to SSRN

JOAN M. SHAUGHNESSY
Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University - School of Law

ELAINE W. SHOBEN
Judge Jack & Lulu Lehman Professor of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law

STEPHANIE M. WILDMAN
John A. and Elizabeth H. Sutro Professor of Law, Santa Clara University - School of Law