Resources for Teachers & Administrators
Interested law teachers and administrators are encouraged to subscribe to the List Serve discussion group established for this purpose, which has approximately 350 subscribers (November, 2006). Typical discussions involve teaching practices, law student stress, and professional values. Sample threads are linked at the bottom of the page.
A brief Bibliography is included as part of this Web site, with law review articles and books that describe the reported problems in the profession and in law schools, relevant research, and methods developed by law teachers to address these problems.
New booklets to assist students reduce law school stress, improve learning, and make their best career choices are available. They can be used in programs such as orientation, academic support or placement, or in courses (particularly Legal Writing and other first-year courses, Professional Responsibility, clinical programs, and other professionalism/professional skills offerings). Review them here.
Faculty reports of effective teaching methods and programs are posted below. Many such methods are described in the bibliography and the other sites listed here as well, so look around! Pending conferences are also announced here. You may also wish to browse the resources for law students and lawyers; they are broader in scope and may serve to stimulate other teaching ideas.
The resources of the Institute for Law School Teaching include conferences, the Law Teacher newsletter, and written materials. The Institute has also developed two videotapes, with program notes, designed for use in faculty colloquia on improving teaching methods and the law school culture. The tapes incorporate interviews of many law students, and provide insights into student experiences, principles of effective teaching, and issues of diversity.
The Carnegie Institute for the Advancement of Teaching is conducting a major study of law school teaching, and has offered experimental seminars at six law schools in the United States as an adjunct to the study. Their Web site includes an abstract of the study to date and information and quotes from professors conducting the seminars. The separate, more detailed report of one of the seminar leaders, Professor Daisy Floyd, is posted here and is strongly recommended for your consideration.
Barbara Glesner-Fines maintains a web site with numerous resources for law teachers in the areas of classroom teaching, learning theory, academic support, cooperative learning, diversity, assessment methods, and technology.
Susan Daicoff displays a Power Point presentation of research on lawyer and law student distress and a more lengthy bibliography of such research on her web site.
Helpful Teaching Approaches
An excellent beginning is an article from "The Law Teacher," Spring, 2003, that appears here with permission of the Institute for Law School Teaching.
I recently made a presentation on teaching values and well-being as key components of Professionalism and received a number of requests from teachers wishing to use this material in their teaching. The article, The Inseparability of Professionalism and Personal Satisfaction, is published at 11 Clinical Law Review 425 (2005). It provides the content and graphics from that presentation. This is a concrete approach to teaching values and career satisfaction that I have found effective in skills simulations, clinics, Professional Responsibility courses, and CLE programs for lawyers.
We also post here discussion threads of interest from the Humanizing Listserv: "humanizing teaching approaches; thinking like a lawyer; law school grading;
1L distress and educational practices; and
the connotation of "average."
Many teachers have posted methods and content they have found useful on the Humanizing Legal Education list serve; I will summarize and include them here as time allows, so please check back - and please email me your ideas as well.