Explaining the 'Big Picture': Why Students Should Know Why They Read Cases in Law School

Newsletter for the AALS Section on Teaching Methods, December 2008

St. John's Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-0162

3 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2008  

Patricia Grande Montana

St. John's University - School of Law

Date Written: December 16, 2008

Abstract

We ask our students to read cases in law school for a purpose other than simply learning the doctrine. We want them to learn how to analyze legal problems. By reading cases, they learn to see patterns in how courts resolve like problems and develop rules from those patterns that can be applied to future scenarios. Because many students do not read cases with this broad goal in mind, law faculty, particularly first-year professors, need to be explicit about the purpose of reading cases in law school. Students might then approach their reading in a more deliberate and efficient way.

Suggested Citation

Grande Montana, Patricia, Explaining the 'Big Picture': Why Students Should Know Why They Read Cases in Law School (December 16, 2008). Newsletter for the AALS Section on Teaching Methods, December 2008 ; St. John's Legal Studies Research Paper No. 08-0162. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1316906

Patricia Grande Montana (Contact Author)

St. John's University - School of Law ( email )

8000 Utopia Parkway
Jamaica, NY 11439
United States
718 990 1389 (Phone)

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