Team-Based Learning in Law

42 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2012

See all articles by Sophie M. Sparrow

Sophie M. Sparrow

University of New Hampshire School of Law

Margaret Sova McCabe

University of Arkansas - School of Law

Date Written: January 16, 2012


Used for over thirty years in a wide variety of fields, Team-Based Learning is a powerful teaching strategy that improves student learning. Used effectively, it enables students to actively engage in applying legal concepts in every class -- without sacrificing coverage. Because this teaching strategy has been used in classes with over 200 students, it also provides an efficient and affordable way to provide significant learning. Based on the principles of instructional design, Team-Based Learning has built-in student accountability, promotes independent student preparation, and fosters professional skills. This article provides an overview of Team-Based Learning, reasons to adopt this teaching strategy in light of Best Practices for Legal Education and the Carnegie and MacCrate reports, concrete methods to use Team-Based Learning in Law School, and ways to address challenges to this teaching strategy. Co-authors Sophie M. Sparrow and Margaret Sova McCabe provide examples from their years of teaching a variety of courses using Team-Based Learning.

Keywords: team-based learning, teaching law, innovative pedagogy in law, effective student engagement

Suggested Citation

Sparrow, Sophie M. and McCabe, Margaret Sova, Team-Based Learning in Law (January 16, 2012). Available at SSRN: or

Sophie M. Sparrow

University of New Hampshire School of Law ( email )

Two White Street
Concord, NH 03301
United States

Margaret Sova McCabe (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas - School of Law ( email )

260 Waterman Hall
Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

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