Using the Client-File Method to Teach Transactional Law
18 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2013 Last revised: 26 Nov 2014
Date Written: September 27, 2013
This Article presents a teaching method (the client-file method) for transactional law courses that combines the business school case-study method with the law school case method. The client-file method of teaching requires students to become familiar with real-word legal issues and the types of documents and information that accompany matters that transactional clients bring to attorneys (i.e., the contents of a client file). The method also requires students to learn and apply substantive law to solve problems that arise in a transactional law practice. Because the client-file method places students in a practice setting, it helps them become more practice-ready law graduates. Although the client-file exists in various forms in many parts of the legal curriculum, this Article describes its specific application to transactional business law courses with accompanying diagrams and a description of the learning cycle it facilitates. The method provides the promises making experiential learning accessible to a greater number of law students.
Keywords: Christopher Columbus Langdell, case-study method, client-file method, Socratic method, legal education, legal education reform, experiential learning
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