Table of Contents

Teaching Public International Law: Reflections on the State of the Art in an Era of Uncertainty

Mohamed S. Helal, Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

Teaching Public Policy Drafting in Law School: One Professor's Approach

Lisa A Rich, Texas A&M University School of Law

Beyond Reconciliation: Decolonizing Clinical Legal Education

Patricia Barkaskas, University of British Columbia (UBC), Faculty of Law
Sarah M. Buhler, University of Saskatchewan - College of Law

Legal-Writing Exercises: Part IV

Gerald Lebovits, Columbia University - Law School, Fordham University School of Law, New York University School of Law

Patent Jobs and the Myth of the Employment Hypothesis

Kenneth L. Port, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, William Mitchell College of Law
Lucas HjelleMolly Rose Littman, affiliation not provided to SSRN

Teaching Law Students How to Become Metacognitive Thinkers: Helping Students Develop Their Mental Apps

Edwin S. Fruehwald, Independent


"Teaching Public International Law: Reflections on the State of the Art in an Era of Uncertainty" Free Download
Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 416

MOHAMED S. HELAL, Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law

This paper appeared in the Journal of the African Union Commission of International Law, which is published by the African Union. It reflects on and critiques the prevalent methodology of teaching Public International Law in African universities. It examines syllabi from universities from the various African sub-regions and finds that Public International Law courses in these institutions are mostly taught using what this paper calls a ‘doctrinal mode of instruction’. This approach adopts a positivistic methodology that focuses on introducing students to the rules of international law, without examining the political, economic, historical, or social background of these rules. Moreover, this approach does not discuss the impact of these rules on inter-State relations and global governance, nor does it consider whether and why States and other actors comply with or violate these rules.

This paper does not suggest that professors of international law should wholly redesign their courses by jettisoning the focus on the rules of international law. Rather, this paper proposes adopting an ‘interdisciplinary mode’ of teaching international law by adding readings to current syllabi that shed light on the political, economic, historical, and/or social background of the established rules. This paper provides specific examples of how the rule-oriented syllabi that are prevalent in African universities can be complimented with readings that stimulate in-class discussion and enrich student experiences by placing the rules within their broader political and social context.

This paper also argues that this move to an interdisciplinary mode of instruction is especially important for Africa at a time when the liberal international order is experiencing a period of crisis. This crisis of the liberal international order will lead to the reconfiguration of the doctrinal content and institutional infrastructure of international law. This paper argues that this crisis offers Africa an opportunity to participate in the recreation of the international system. The African Union, African jurists, and African governments should seize this opportunity to articulate a political, legal, and economic agenda that promotes African interests. These actors should also seek to integrate this agenda into the remodeled international political and legal systems that will emerge in the coming years and decades. This makes an interdisciplinary mode of teaching and academic writing indispensable to enable future generations of African international lawyers to engage in this process of revision and renewal of the international political and legal systems.

"Teaching Public Policy Drafting in Law School: One Professor's Approach" Free Download
Duquesne University Law Review, Vol. 55, No. 1, 2017
Texas A&M University School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 17-77

LISA A RICH, Texas A&M University School of Law

This article provides an overview of the Drafting for Public Policy course offered at the Texas A&M University School of Law. The article addresses the theoretical and pedagogical underpinnings of the course, including how such a course easily encompasses the teaching of cultural context and awareness, as well as professional identity, and encourages students to engage deeply in the policy-making process. It also explores the continued relevance of the work of Harold D. Lasswell, as well as that of Myres McDougal and Anthony Kronman. These works, from 1943 and 1993 respectively, resonate now because they called on law schools to engage students in practical application and ensure they developed a sound professional identity with an emphasis on commitment to the public good — two calls the legal academy hears loudly today. The article also provides a sample syllabus, ideas for assignments, and discussions of elements of the textbook used in the course to provide readers guidance in developing their own courses.

"Beyond Reconciliation: Decolonizing Clinical Legal Education" Free Download
(2017) 26 Journal of Law and Social Policy 1-20

PATRICIA BARKASKAS, University of British Columbia (UBC), Faculty of Law
SARAH M. BUHLER, University of Saskatchewan - College of Law

How can legal clinics and clinical legal educators respond to the ongoing harms of settler colonialism? At a time when "reconciliation" is top of mind for many legal educators in light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission calls to action, can reconciliation be taken up in a meaningful way through clinical legal education? Does reconciliation demand decolonization and if so can clinical legal education work towards decolonization? These are the questions we consider in this article. Drawing on our respective experiences with the University of British Columbia and the University of Saskatchewan’s clinical law programs, and grounding our analysis in the critical literature on settler colonialism and decolonization, we propose that the aim of reconciliation, at least as it is typically understood, is not enough and that we must go further to challenge the structure of settler colonialism by decolonizing and Indigenizing clinical legal education. We argue that decolonial approaches and engagement with processes of Indigenization in both the academic and practical aspects of clinical law programs can intervene in normative legal education and challenge the colonial hegemony underpinning the Canadian legal system. Ultimately, we propose that it is unsettling, productive and essential for those of us involved with clinical legal education in Canada to learn with and from Indigenous communities about the challenges and possibilities of working towards decolonial justice.

"Legal-Writing Exercises: Part IV" Free Download
89 N.Y. St. B.J. 64 (Oct. 2017)

GERALD LEBOVITS, Columbia University - Law School, Fordham University School of Law, New York University School of Law

The column, the fourth in a series of exercises and answers, covers specificity, parallelism, transitions, subject-verb placement.

"Patent Jobs and the Myth of the Employment Hypothesis" Free Download

KENNETH L. PORT, Mitchell Hamline School of Law, William Mitchell College of Law
LUCAS HJELLEMOLLY ROSE LITTMAN, affiliation not provided to SSRN

In our prior work on this topic, we have established that patent bar eligible students (students who possess the appropriate science or engineering degree that makes them eligible for the paten bar and to become patent attorneys) who attend law school are declining precipitously in numbers that far exceed all potential law students in general. We have also claimed that this fact will have a deleterious effect on the United States economy. In this article, we establish that the usual argument for why patent bar eligible students are not coming to law school, that is, that there are too few jobs (we call this the Employment Hypothesis), does not apply. In fact, patent attorneys with the appropriate background (mechanical, electrical, chemical or computer engineering degrees or “MECC Engineers?) are quite attractive on the employment market. Yet, they still do not come to law school.

Most people in law do not realize that there is a double standard in reporting the employment data upon which prospective students might rely. According to our research, no other field of study is analyzed, scrutinized, and made to justify itself as law. Other doctorate degrees or even most MBA programs are not scrutinized to determine if some specific job is in the graduate’s near future and whether the education was “worth it? — whether the student’s return on investment supports obtaining the degree in the first place. Law seems to be the only subject where an entity (like the American Bar Association) collects and reports out data to make these types of conclusions possible. In many graduate degrees, rather, employment in anything other than teaching is not mentioned even though only some 45% of PhD holders in History, for example, ever obtain a tenure-track teaching position. That is, 55% of History PhD holders may be employed but not at History professors. If 55% of JD holders never obtained a job as a lawyer, it would be remarkable indeed.

In the end, this article concludes that the very Employment Hypothesis that many in the media claim accurately describes the enrollment crisis in American legal education actually contradicts why MECC Engineers are foregoing a law school education. With this article we attempt to pursue many explanations for the public’s reliance on the Employment Hypothesis, and in particular, why MECC Engineers might choose a Ph.D. in their science over a J.D. — as they seem to do. In the end, this article concludes that MECC Engineers are very employable as patent attorneys. However, the very rationality that leads them to a degree in MECC engineering may be the rationality that diverts them from law school.

"Teaching Law Students How to Become Metacognitive Thinkers: Helping Students Develop Their Mental Apps" Free Download
The Appalachian Journal of Law, Forthcoming


Metacognition is “our awareness of the learning process.? It is “thinking about one’s own thinking.? More specifically, it “includes both knowledge of one’s knowledge, processes, cognitive and affective states, and the ability to consciously and deliberately monitor and regulate one’s knowledge, process, cognitive and affective states.?

Understanding metacognition and how to use metacognitive skills is a major part of becoming a successful learner. Helping law students become metacognitive learners will make them better lawyers and life-long learners. However, most students do not acquire metacognitive skills on their own. Rather, they require a “coach? (a law professor) to develop expertise.

This article shows how law professors can help their students understand metacognition and develop metacognitive skills (their mental apps). Part II of this article discusses metacognition in general, and Part III shows how law professors can help their students develop metacognitive skills. Subjects in Part III include developing metacognitive awareness, teaching metacognition in the classroom, teaching students how to use metacognition while studying, teaching students metacognition in one-on-one meetings, and using formative assessments to develop metacognition.


About this eJournal

This eJournal is designed to offer a vehicle for law teachers to share information and materials about teaching. All materials related to law teaching are encouraged. This includes casebooks, reviews of casebooks, supplementary materials (for your own or someone else's book), lecture notes, class summaries, outlines, syllabi, problems and other teaching materials. It also includes scholarship about teaching. We hope that Law Educator will grow in future years to include a full range of teaching materials, including PowerPoint slides, Excel spreadsheets, video content and other material.

Editor: Lawrence A. Cunningham, George Washington University


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Law Educator: Courses, Materials & Teaching eJournal

Judson Falknor Professor of Law, University of Washington - School of Law, Director, UW Arctic Law and Policy Institute

Professor of Law, Emory University School of Law

University of Texas at Austin - Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law & Business

J. Skelly Wright Professor of Law, Yale University - Law School

W.R. Irby Chair in Law, Tulane University Law School

Professor of Law, Gonzaga University - School of Law

Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School

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Professor Emeritus of Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law

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Professor of Law, George Washington University - Law School

Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University - School of Law

Judge Jack & Lulu Lehman Professor of Law, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law

John A. and Elizabeth H. Sutro Professor of Law, Santa Clara University - School of Law