March 14, 2008
Report from the SALT Conference: Teaching for Social Justice
Today was the first day of the SALT Conference on Teaching for Social Justice. This is a topic close to many in ASP. Many of our students came to law school with an intense passion for justice, and it is a continual challenge to keep that fire going after grades and class rank come out. I am hoping this conference can provide some ideas on how to keep that fire going through meaningful activities and lessons. I have some spectacular colleagues from Vermont Law School presenting here, and I am also here to cheer them on.
Elizabeth Pendo from Saint Louis University presented on her work creating a student program with the Florida Health Care Ombudsman Committee. She presented some great ideas on how to engage students in a program where they can really help people and see the power of a law degree, regardless of class rank. This is an idea to pass on to externship/internship directors looking for new opportunities for students, and a great opportunity for ASP prof's to encourage students to participate in a program to help the community and renew their commitment to the legal profession.
More updates to come...
March 13, 2008
More from the Learning Differences Conference
The Learning Differences Conference at Harvard was great. Although it was designed for Pre-K-12, there were a number of excited ideas and trends in teaching all students presented at the conference.
1) Most studies on ADHD have not been on all children; they have been on boys. We know very little about the science of ADHD on girls, and what we do know is the brain develops in different ways and in different developmental stages in girls. This will have ramifications on the accommodations and modifications for girls (and women) with ADHD. As women cross the 50% mark at most law schools, we need to learn more about ADHD in female law students.
2) The mind and body are connected. Some people need to move in order to activate the brain to think. This is not isolated to children. We need to think of ways to teach that includes movement--even if it is just switching seats--to truly use the learning moment in class.
3) We need research on the needs of professional and graduate students with learning differences. I avoid saying "more" research because there is virtually nothing out there on students over 25 with learning differences. If we want to provide the best legal education, we need to know how to teach all students, not just the best and the brightest, who may be the most easily adaptable, but not really the brightest.
My next update will be from the SALT Conference in Berkeley. This has been my crazy conference week (3 conferences in 10 days in 3 cities, on 2 coasts) and I will be back posting 2-3 times a week when I am home in Vermont.
Commercial Law Study Aids
Our students have a required commercial law course which includes both negotiable instruments (aka payment systems or commercial paper) and secured transactions. This commercial law course is one of the hardest for law students, especially those without any business background.
Both course topics provide a range of study aids which are in hot demand. A study aid that includes both topics is:
- Secured Transactions and Payment Systems: Problems and Answers (Clarke and others, Aspen)
The study aids for negotiable instruments include:
- Understanding Negotiable Instruments and Payment Systems (Lawrence, LexisNexis)
- Examples and Explanations: Payment Systems (Brook, Aspen)
- An Introduction to Payment Systems (Lawrence, Aspen)
- Gilbert Law Summaries: Commercial Paper and Payment Law (Whaley, Thomson/BarBri)
- Gilbert Law School Legends on Audio Cassette: Commercial Paper (Spak, Thomson/BarBri)
- Sum and Substance Audio Casettes: Commercial Paper and Payment Law (Whaley, West Group)
- Eamanuel Law Outlines: Payment Systems (Lawrence, Aspen)
- Questions & Answers: Payment Systems (Maggs and Zinnecker, LexisNexis)
The study aids for secured transactions include:
- Visualizing Secured Transactions (Bartell, LexisNexis)
- Understanding Secured Transactions (Lawrence and others, LexisNexis)
- Examples and Explanations: Secured Transactions (Brook, Aspen)
- Gilbert Law Summaries: Secured Transactions (Whaley, Thomson/BarBri)
- Black Letter Outlines: Secured Transactions (Rusch, Thomson/West)
- Gilbert Law School Legends on Audio CD: Secured Transactions (Spak, Thomson/BarBri)
- Questions & Answers: Secured Transactions (Markell and Zinnecker, LexisNexis)
Hopefully, students who are struggling with these topics can find study aids that assist their understanding among these selections. (Amy Jarmon)
March 12, 2008
Future Interest and Estates Study Aids
Our students have been going through a spate of midterm exams in Property recently. Future interests, estates, and RAP are as perplexing for current students as they were to all of us in law school. I thought it might be helpful to list some of the study aids that I stock in my library to help students in these areas:
- A Student's Guide to Estates in Land and Future Intersts (Laurence and Minzner, LEXIS)
- A Student's Guide to the Rule Against Perpetuities (Schwartz, LEXIS)
- Estates in Land and Future Interests (Makdisi and Bogart, Aspen)
- Workbook on Estates and Future Interests (Coletta, Thomson/West)
- Estates in Land and Future Interests (Edwards, Aspen)
- A Possessory Estates and Future Interests Primer (Wendel, Thomson/West)
- Gilbert Law Summaries: Future Interests and Perpetuities (Dukeminier, Thomson/BarBri)
- Gilbert Law School Legends on Audio CD (Carpenter, Thomson/BarBri)
- Law in a Flash: Future Interests (Aspen/Emanuel)
When I was studying for the day-long conveyancing exam for the bar in England/Wales, I asked one of our residential conveyancing legal staff what book would be best for preparing for the future interests, estates, and RAP portion of the exam. He blinked at me. In a surprised voice, he asked if Americans still learned all of those things. When I told him that it was a regular part of every law school property course, he laughed and said that the U.K. abolished all of those intricacies in the 1840's! (Amy Jarmon)