Professor Keith Hirokawa from Albany Law School has a recent article entitled Teaching From the Dirt: Best Practices and Land Use Law Pedagogy. The paper is about a real course employing real world skills in the law school classroom. Here is the abstract:
The inspired and compelling article by Patricia Salkin and John Nolon, ‘Practically Grounded’, suggests that a course in land use law may be well-suited for cutting-edge pedagogical practices. This essay addresses what the authors of Practically Grounded have identified as a present deficiency in legal education: many, perhaps most, future land use lawyers graduate from law school without having looked at a parcel of real property from the perspective of a practicing attorney. This essay explores the opportunities presented in a course that incorporates ‘teaching from the dirt’ and discusses how such a course can help to connect the dots that lie between legal education and the practice of law. Teaching from the dirt involves using land and real world controversies to facilitate student engagement with the facts and laws that govern land use decision making. Students in such a class are required to perform like lawyers. To accomplish these goals, this course compels students to participate in a simulated regulatory process concerning the development of an actual parcel of vacant property, to engage the controversy on behalf of a client, to navigate the legal process, and to envision how the law applies to the land and influences the outcome of the process.
Give it a read and tell us what you think!
Filed under: Best Practices & Curriculum