Rethinking the Curriculum for Balance

Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World, Deborah Maranville, Lisa Radtke Bliss, Carolyn Wilkes Kaas & Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, eds., Lexis, 2015

U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-01

Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-07

9 Pages Posted: 8 Feb 2015 Last revised: 30 Jun 2015

See all articles by Martin Katz

Martin Katz

University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Kenneth R. Margolis

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Date Written: February 6, 2015

Abstract

This article is a chapter in the new book, Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World (Deborah Maranville, Lisa Radtke Bliss, Carolyn Wilkes Kaas & Antoinette Sedillo Lopez eds., forthcoming Lexis 2015.) The article discusses some of the key substantive questions relating to the content of curricular reform in legal education. The authors take the view that the typical curriculum in law schools is too heavily doctrinally-oriented and suggest that a better balance can be struck to maximize law student readiness for professional practice. The authors advocate: 1) adopting more practice-oriented experiential education and being more selective about which purely doctrinal courses should be taught; 2) providing an expanded mix within the law school of teaching settings (large and small classes, group learning, and one-on-one settings) and teaching methods (lecture, Socratic dialogue, in-class exercises, large- or small-group discussions, presentations, simulations, and work on actual legal problems); and 3) providing a wider range of learning experiences as part of the formal curriculum that take place outside of the law school (e.g. field experiences, moot court programs, mentorship programs, student-run volunteer projects with volunteer lawyers’ involvement, and other outside programs involving practitioners who are not full-time faculty.)

Keywords: balance, institutional planning, teaching methods, teaching settings, legal doctrine, coherence

Suggested Citation

Katz, Martin and Margolis, Kenneth R., Rethinking the Curriculum for Balance (February 6, 2015). Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World, Deborah Maranville, Lisa Radtke Bliss, Carolyn Wilkes Kaas & Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, eds., Lexis, 2015, U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 15-01, Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2015-07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2561542

Martin Katz (Contact Author)

University of Denver Sturm College of Law ( email )

2255 E. Evans Ave., 460B
Denver, CO 80208
United States

Kenneth R. Margolis

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-2766 (Phone)
216-368-5137 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://law.case.edu

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