New Article: Improving Legal Education by Improving Casebooks: Fourteen Things Casebooks Can Do to Produce Better and More Learning

Michael Hunter Schwartz from Washburn University School of Law has a recent article in the Elon Law Review entitled Improving Legal Education by Improving Casebooks: Fourteen Things Casebooks Can Do to Produce Better and More Learning. The article points to a fundamental problem with casebooks – they are written by scholars, not teachers.  In order to fulfill the ideas of Carnegie, casebooks have to be designed to incorporate best practices so that law professors can model/remodel their classes.  Here is a taste of the article from the abstract:

The distinctive features [of the article] fall into five categories. First, the article describes innovations aimed at increasing the likelihood that we produce practice-ready lawyers. Second, it articulates what casebooks can take from the field of instructional design. Third, it addresses what was, perhaps, the most challenging aspect of the design, creating learning experiences that assist students in synthesizing their existing value systems with the value systems implicitly and explicitly taught in law school. Fourth, the article describes the ways in which series books assist law teachers in being more effective as day-to-day classroom teachers. Finally, it explains what the books in the series do to assist law professors in providing students meaningful opportunities for practice and feedback, and to make it easier for law teachers to conduct multiple and varied summative assessments.

Give the article a read and let us know what you think!

2 Responses

  1. I very much enjoyed this article as I do much of MHS’ writing. At about the same time I read an article by Burgess on using visual graphics. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1586113. This is one of the points MHS made about casebooks. There are two immediate impacts on me.
    1. I already used some flowcharts. In the first 3 weeks of the semester I started using them more. I also assigned the students to make their own.
    2. I’ve also had the Torts class write 3 essays which I reviewed and commented on.

  2. These articles will help the higher authorities to know about the actual problems in the education systems and how these problems can be solved.Also to educate everyone of a country the system have to look for all the problems and all possible solution to it.

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