Rate Law Professors: An Objective and Practical Method for Evaluating Teaching
and Learning Tools in Law School Courses
John O. Sonsteng
Mitchell Hamline School of Law
September 13, 2012
William Mitchell Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-14
The study of law is becoming increasingly expensive. Law graduates have substantial debt from law school and undergraduate loans. The number of jobs available in law practice is decreasing and most law graduates practice in a solo practitioner or in a small firm. Law schools are recruiting students from a diverse, yet shrinking pool of applicants. The wide variety of learning styles possessed by this diverse group makes it difficult for professors to reach a significant proportion of law students. In order for law students to be well prepared to practice law and to get the most of their legal education, law students need an objective method to assist them in selecting the law school to attend and the courses to take.
This article provides an objective method for law school students and faculty to analyze the use of teaching and learning tools in law school classes. It provides a summary of available teaching tools and it provides an objective system in which points are assigned to courses as the courses relate to the use of teaching and learning tools. Evaluating teaching and learning has primarily been a subjective measure; both an art and a science and has been studied, measured and discussed at length. The objective method we suggest is one tool among many that may be used to evaluate teachers and learning, to assist law students when choosing classes and selecting a school to attend.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 131
Keywords: law school, legal education, higher education, teaching