Summer Musings on Curricular Innovations to Change the Lawyer’s Standard Philosophical Map
James Richard Coben
Hamline University School of Law
University of Florida Law Review, Vol. 50, p. 735, 1998
When Hamline’s participation in the FIPSE grant was announced several years ago, the Hamline community saw an opportunity to help achieve the stated strategic-plan objective to ensure that every graduating student “will have basic knowledge about ADR and the opportunity for simulation experience with ADR.” The FIPSE grant working-group established the following objectives to guide the curriculum-development effort: (a) emphasize the importance of ADR by formally recognizing it as “substance,” (b) help students confront the standard philosophical map of lawyers and promote an “alternative” definition of lawyer as “problem-solver,” (c) provide a baseline familiarity with rule vs. interest and position vs. interest distinctions, and (d) provide a definitional overview of ADR processes and ways they differ from the traditional litigation model. The working group concluded that a student leaving Hamline should have a combination of substantive knowledge, skills training, and experience to: (a) effectively listen to a client, (b) understand legal and other interests, (c) choose the most appropriate dispute resolution process, and (d) differentiate between law as a tool for justice and law as a tool to accomplish individual client objectives. While on paper, the author can make a strong case for having accomplished a great deal during the two years of the FIPSE project, as well as the subsequent academic year, he is not as convinced as he would like to be that our efforts actually influence student perception of a lawyer’s work. The article discusses his uncertainties, as well as what was accomplished, difficulties encountered, and the results of a formal project assessment.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: Alternative Dispute Resolution, FIPSE Grant, Problem-Solver, Rule vs. Interest, Position v. Interest, Traditional Legal Model
Date posted: September 8, 2011