Table of Contents

Who's Distressed? Not Only Law Students: Psychological Distress Level in University Students Across Diverse Fields of Study

Wendy Larcombe, Melbourne Law School
Sue Finch, University of Melbourne
Rachel Sore, University of Melbourne

Meditation for Law Students: Mindfulness Practice as Experiential Learning

Teresa Brostoff, University of Pittsburgh - School of Law

Channeling Mary Joe Frug

Laura A. Rosenbury, University of Florida - Levin College of Law

Getting Up to Speed: Understanding the Connection between Learning Outcomes and Assessments in a Doctrinal Course

Joni Larson, Indiana Institute of Technology - Indiana Tech Law School

Indigenisation of Curricula: Current Teaching Practices in Law

Amy Maguire, University of Newcastle (Australia) - Newcastle Law School
Tamara Young, University of Newcastle

Legal Research in Search of Attention: A Quantitative Assessment

Mathias M. Siems, Durham University - Durham Law School, University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research


LAW EDUCATOR: COURSES, MATERIALS & TEACHING eJOURNAL

"Who's Distressed? Not Only Law Students: Psychological Distress Level in University Students Across Diverse Fields of Study" Free Download
Sydney Law Review, Vol. 37, No. 2, 2015
U of Melbourne Legal Studies Research Paper No. 740

WENDY LARCOMBE, Melbourne Law School
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SUE FINCH, University of Melbourne
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RACHEL SORE, University of Melbourne
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Empirical studies consistently find that law students report high levels of psychological distress. But are law students at heightened risk among their university peers? The few available comparative studies suggest that law students may experience higher levels of psychological distress than their counterparts in medical degrees. However, data are scarce that compare the distress levels of students in law with students in non-medical programs. The study reported here addressed that gap by comparing the prevalence of psychological distress among law students and non-law students undertaking diverse academic programs at both undergraduate and graduate levels. The findings show that a significant proportion of students in diverse fields and at all levels of study reported high levels of psychological distress. Moreover, the law students’ odds of reporting severe symptoms of psychological distress were not the highest on any of the measures used. Overall, the findings suggest that law students are not alone among university students in experiencing high levels of psychological distress. We discuss the implications of this finding for current efforts to address student wellbeing in legal education.

"Meditation for Law Students: Mindfulness Practice as Experiential Learning" Free Download
Law and Psychology Review, Vol. 41, 2017, Forthcoming
U. of Pittsburgh Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2016-26

TERESA BROSTOFF, University of Pittsburgh - School of Law
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In today’s competitive law school environment, research indicates that many students arrive in law school with anxiety or emotional difficulties or develop them due to stress inherent in law school studies. In fact, law school more than other course of graduate study creates stress-induced difficulties in students, and these difficulties often persist in the practice of law. When law schools teach mindfulness, they recognize that law students suffer from stress and its harms, and that mindfulness education may help to bring balance to the lives of law students. Mindfulness or meditation training provides one way for students to become present and accepting of their experiences and may help to alleviate stress-related problems. Students learn to be able to maintain focus and calm, even when their minds are busy, and gain a useful tool that they can use when addressing their school or professional work.

Mindfulness practice combined with simulations involving the interpersonal skills of deep listening, counseling, interviewing, and negotiating satisfies the ABA requirement of experiential learning and offers students a new way to approach lawyering skills. Students learn to reflect, rather than react, while appreciating the intrinsic value of everyone involved in the interaction. Mindfulness training as experiential learning helps students to be ready to approach their professional experiences with focus, presence, acceptance, and compassion. By offering an experiential learning curricula that includes mindfulness education, law schools will further demonstrate that they care about the well-being of their students and are taking steps to help them to develop balance in their personal and professional endeavors.

"Channeling Mary Joe Frug" Free Download
New England Law Review, Vol. 50, No. 101, 2016

LAURA A. ROSENBURY, University of Florida - Levin College of Law
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This brief essay commemorates the work of Mary Joe Frug upon the twenty-fifth anniversary of her murder, analyzing the ongoing impact of her scholarship in the classroom and in scholarly debates. In particular, Frug’s work inspired the three questions that have structured my teaching and scholarship for over a decade: How does law participate in constructions of gender? How should law participate in constructions of gender? Who wins and who loses? The essay describes how students respond to these questions in the classroom and how the questions have influenced my scholarship analyzing how relationships construct gender and identity. Most of all, the essay mourns the loss of Frug’s ongoing contributions to these important dialogues.

"Getting Up to Speed: Understanding the Connection between Learning Outcomes and Assessments in a Doctrinal Course" Free Download

JONI LARSON, Indiana Institute of Technology - Indiana Tech Law School
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Many professors are bristling over the recent changes to the American Bar Association (ABA) Standards and Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Criteria, requiring law schools to have learning outcomes and assessments. While such criteria have existed outside the law school environment for many years, the concepts are new to most law professors. This article explains what a learning outcome is and how to create one. It then explores the flip side to outcomes, assessments. It provides a variety of ways for creating and incorporating assessments into a doctrinal course. More than just providing a basic introduction to outcomes and assessment, the paper explains how the shift to learning outcomes and assessments is good for legal education. With the shift, content knowledge and skill development based on that knowledge becomes the constant and the time it takes to cover material becomes the variable. Both professors and students can be assured learning, and the right learning, is happening. Moreover, through the professor’s focus on a demonstration of knowledge, students will leave law school with a vast skill set designed to allow them to do something with the knowledge they have acquired.

"Indigenisation of Curricula: Current Teaching Practices in Law" Free Download
(2016) 25 Legal Education Review 95-119

AMY MAGUIRE, University of Newcastle (Australia) - Newcastle Law School
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TAMARA YOUNG, University of Newcastle
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In the context of legal education, the Indigenisation of the curriculum is essential in signalling to students that Indigenous-related content and perspectives are important in learning about the law. By integrating Indigenous material throughout the law curriculum, academics can shift the expectations of students and teachers regarding the intellectual boundaries of their fields of study, and challenge them to critique the relationship between the Australian legal system and Indigenous people. These actions can promote curricular justice for Indigenous students, and meet the wider responsibility of educating all students for equity, social justice and anti-racism.

In this article, literature pertaining to the Indigenisation of curricula is reviewed. We consider the need to take a whole-of-curriculum approach to the treatment of Indigenous issues, and we examine the value of introducing Indigenous perspectives to unsettle assumptions embedded in the teaching of Anglo-Australian law. The literature review documents current research on the Indigenisation of tertiary curricula, particularly in law. Our analysis focuses on four areas; Indigenous issues, Indigenous perspectives, Indigenous law and Indigenous law students.

Following this review, we present the findings of our exploratory study, which investigated the extent to which Indigenous-related content and perspectives are currently incorporated into the Newcastle Law School curriculum. Our study involved interviews with teaching staff, who reflected on the degree to which they deal with Indigenous issues, and the teaching methods used to convey Indigenous-related content. The findings raise some qualitative questions regarding the Indigenisation of curricula. These questions allow us to reflect on our responsibilities as teachers of Indigenous-related material, including the scope we have to make distinctive contributions to the Indigenisation of curricula and the ways by which we can enhance our capacities. As gatekeepers for student learning, we represent the Indigenisation of curricula as a key means of broadening the scope of student enquiry, and reinforcing the centrality of justice in teaching and learning about the law.

"Legal Research in Search of Attention: A Quantitative Assessment" Free Download
King’s Law Journal, Volume 27, 2016, pp. 170-187

MATHIAS M. SIEMS, Durham University - Durham Law School, University of Cambridge - Centre for Business Research
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In today’s world it is easy to make research publicly available by putting it online. But this improved availability raises the question how to produce research that actually gets attention. Bibliometrics can contribute to this debate. Based on a sample of 1107 papers of SSRN’s Legal Scholarship Network, this article finds that a short title, a top-20 university affiliation, US authorship, and writing about topics of corporate law and international law have a positive effect on downloads and/or abstract views. The article also reflects on the implications of these findings, in particular how they may be related to contentious attempts to identify what is ‘good’ legal research through metrics and peer review.

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About this eJournal

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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Law Educator: Courses, Materials & Teaching eJournal

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

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

JOHN S. DZIENKOWSKI
University of Texas at Austin - The Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business

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 Emeritus of Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law

GRANT S. NELSON
Pepperdine University - School of Law

ROGER E. SCHECHTER
Professor of Law, George Washington University - Law School

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