Thursday, January 5, 2012
For those who don't want to jump to the link, here's a taste of what Scott has to say:
Contracts: A Context and Practice Casebook by Michael Hunter Schwartz and Denise Riebe is one of the new type of casebooks that combines doctrine, skills, and professionalism into the same course. This book does this very successfully, and it can serve as a model for future casebooks.
. . . .
It is on the chapter level that Schwartz and Riebe depart from the usual model of casebooks. While each chapter still largely consists of edited cases, the authors have added other materials on problem solving and other miniskills. Each chapter begins with a real-world problem, which the student is required to solve at the end of the chapter. The solution can be an exam answer, an office memo, a client letter, contract clauses, etc. Unlike traditional casebooks, each chapter introduces the subjects of that chapter, often with visual aids that help the students organize the doctrine. The authors organize each subtopic around cases. They ask focused questions before each case and have follow up questions and exercises afterwards. The exercises are hypotheticals, synthesis exercises, and problem-solving exercises. Each chapter ends with professional development reflection questions. (Where better to teach contracts ethics than in contracts?) Not only do these questions deal with contract ethics, they include questions and exercises on student well-being.
After having thoroughly studied this casebook over the last few weeks, I believe that it accomplishes what it sets out to do.
I had not heard to this casebook before -- or even of this series. I note that the Casebook is somewhat shorter than others I have looked at, but it costs about half as much. Something to keep in mind in these troubled economic times.