Learning So Much at The 2011 ILTL Summer Conference

What a wonderful first day of the conference on ENGAGING AND ASSESSING OUR STUDENTS! NYU’s Peggy Cooper Davis presented the morning pleanary on “Allowing Relational, Social and Legal Issues to Intersect in Legal Education” along with a colleague from NYU’s Theatre Education Department.  Conference participants  were introduced to “process drama” as an effective classroom technique for  leading  students to greater understanding of a legal issue or of the application of legal issues in realistic lawyer-client situations.  Attendees practiced the use of lawyer role assumption by student and  non-intervention “push back” by  the client- teacher not for the purpose of teaching the skill of interviewing but for the purpose of leading to greater professioal identity understanding .

I then attended a wonderful presentation by Thomas Cooley Professor Tonya Krause-Phelan on “Connecting the Dots: Stimulating Students to Love the Law” on theory, law, simulation, group work, and real practice on the first day in a first year criminal law class. My next adventure was into the future classroom including virtual reality, a presentation ably handled by Professor April Barton of Villanova. The program and handouts themselves are a treasure trove of good teaching tips. Go to above site and click on handouts.

While we are talking conference, who would be interested in coming to a conference on “Learning Objectives for the First Year of Law School” next March 23rd or 30th at my lovely home institution (Albany)? I think its time for folks of all perspectives, methodologies, orthodoxies and sensibilities to come together to discuss what should – and could – be ideal foundational objectives for the first year to better prepare students for the experiential and advanced learning of the second and third. Should experiential learning start in the first year? Should content knowledge dominate first year objectives? How best do we figure out the foundational objectives of critical reading, thinking and writing in a way which integrates the skills, content and professional identity Carnegie recommends? What are Best Practices for the first year?

Please let me know if you think this conference is a good idea, are interested in attending or presenting and/or if the dates sound good. You can contact me at mlync@albanylaw.edu.

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One Response

  1. I enjoyed the conference, too! I attended many sessions that were incredibly helpful and I also encourage fellow bloggers to click on the handouts for some great teaching tools. The plenary session on the second day, conducted by Dr. Barbara E. Walvoord, was especially useful for those of us who are starting to think about assessment of learning outcomes to meet the requirements of the proposed ABA Standards. Dr. Walvoord gave concrete advice about how to meet the new standards and gave examples of how assessment has been accomplished in Business Schools. Her materials are extremely useful to map out a way to approach assessment in a straightforward way. Her advice, “Don’t make it harder than it is”, was comforting! I recommend her book to any of you who are on a long-range planning committee or Curriculum Committee who may be charged with the responsibility of figuring out institutional assessment. Her book, which is cited to in her materials, Assessment Clear and Simple: A Practical Guide for Institutions, Departments, and General Education (Jossey-Bass, 2010) maps out an approach to assessment which is exactly what the title describes, clear and simple.

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