Beyond Chalk and Talk: The Law Classroom of the Future
48 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2013
Date Written: December 19, 2011
Law schools are rethinking the traditional Langdellian classroom as they construct the law classroom of the future. Although the reform of legal education has long been heralded, law schools are now on the cusp of actual change. Carnegie's Education Lawyers and the Clinical Legal Education Association's Best Practices for Legal Education are promoting a rethinking of the law classroom. Also encouraging the examination of legal education are changes in the incoming student population and shifts in the realities and economics of law practice. All of these sources lead to the conclusion that learning is best when students are self-regulating, engaged, and motivated learners, and when the learning process is active, experiential, collaborative, and reflective. One of the best ways to cultivate and develop this learning environment is to have students write a variety of assignments and exercises and receive content-specific feedback in a variety of courses. To that end, this article serves as both inspiration and a resource for the law classroom of the future. The featured exercises draw from the authors' experiences teaching civil procedure, professional responsibility, and trusts and estates. The exercises range from in-class exercises that take as little as five minutes of class time to extended projects to be completed outside of the classroom.
Keywords: Legal education, active learning
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