Real Collaborative Context: Opinion Writing and the Appellate Process
21 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2008
Date Written: September 15, 2008
Collaborative learning is crucial to law students' intellectual development and professional formation. Yet something about the forms of collaboration we typically adopt has always produced the sense that collaborative learning has failed to achieve some of its most ambitious goals. This article articulates a more engaging and empowering approach to collaboration, one that asks law students to participate in aspects of legal practice or judging that involve group decision making - such as appellate judging. By participating in these processes, students gain a more sophisticated understanding of judicial decision making, and how its social aspects influence legal reasoning. In addition, students and teachers who experiment with these collaborative reasoning processes may position themselves to help improve group decision making in a variety of areas of legal practice.
Keywords: collaboration, appellate opinion writing, legal writing, legal education
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