Experiential Learning Through Popular Multimedia
Teaching Law with Popular Culture (Christine Corcos ed., Carolina Academic Press, 2017)
Posted: 27 Jun 2017
Date Written: June 2017
As legal educators and the ABA have called for more robust experiential learning in the law school classroom to ensure students are more practice-ready upon graduation, there has also been some critique of exclusively relying on traditional legal pedagogy, particularly with Millennial students, who might be more visual learners and eager to engage with technology. Multimedia, particularly in the experiential classroom, can directly address these critiques. This chapter explores how experiential pedagogy can incorporate popular multimedia, from podcasts to television clips, in order to teach law students about substantive law concepts, critical topics and core lawyering skills in experiential settings, including clinic seminars and practicums.
Experiential education “integrates theory and practice by combining academic inquiry with actual experience;”* experiential courses include law clinics, externships and simulations. The experiential classroom is particularly well-suited for the use of multimedia, which can offer an engaging alternative to the traditional lecture when teaching the related doctrine, theory and skills involved in an experiential course. In Part I of this chapter, Professor Laila Hlass overviews experiential learning concepts, with particular focus on its pedagogical principles and teaching methods. In Part II, Clinical Director Allison Korn explores how to use popular media to unpack complex issues surrounding poverty, politics, race and identity, sharing examples from seminars she taught at the University of Mississippi School of Law and the University of Baltimore School of Law. In Part III, Clinical Instructor Sarah Sherman-Stokes illustrates how multimedia can be applied to teach core lawyering skills, sharing examples of how she used The Wire, The Moth, and The Guardian in an Immigrants’ Rights clinic seminar classroom at Boston University School of Law. In Part IV, Associate Professor Priya Baskaran outlines using multimedia case studies to introduce corporate law concepts for applied learning in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Law Clinic at West Virginia University College of Law, as well as highlights challenges and constraints of using popular media, including how to navigate copyright protections.
This chapter will equip readers with a framework for deliberately including multimedia to enhance their classroom teaching. This chapter also provides a “library” of law-related multimedia by subject, with relevant learning goals and a brief description of corresponding exercises that can accompany each media clip, which may be accessed here: http://popularmedia.law.wvu.edu/. In sum, this chapter will provide law professors with the technical and substantive tools necessary to seamlessly incorporate multimedia into their experiential learning curriculum.
*ROY STUCKEY & OTHERS, BEST PRACTICES FOR LEGAL EDUCATION 165 (2007). See also Experience the Future: Papers from the Second National Symposium on Experiential Education in Law: Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law, 7 ELON L. REV. 1, 108 (2015).
Keywords: experiential learning, experiential education, popular culture, clinical teaching, pedagogy, Millennial, legal education, technology in classroom
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