November 29, 2004

Law school teaching methods

Anyone naive enough to doubt that law schools pursue multiple goals--beyond just teaching law students--should simply look at law school pedagogical practices.

The standard law school classroom method, which involves reading appellate opinions all term and then doing one timed issue-spotting exam at the very end of the course is so suboptimal from a learning point of view that it's hard to understand why law school faculties have failed to make improvements.

The [non]billable hour has assembled five thoughtful pieces from well-known law students discussing what might be done to make things better. AI has a some good follow-up comments.

If law schools existed only to teach students, I don't doubt that the smart people who sit on law faculties would have left our current system behind long ago. The fact that they haven't is perhaps the best evidence that law schools are committed to doing things other than teaching (what things??). Perhaps that's a good thing; perhaps it isn't. But law students have plenty of reasons to bitch, and I'm glad to see some of them doing it in a thoughtful and enlightening way.

Posted by Carey at November 29, 2004 10:17 PM