Wednesday, May 16, 2012
I believe that seminars still have a place in legal education. However, they need to be carefully structured, and the professor needs to give the seminar students individual attention in writing papers.
Dean Simson has recently posted a paper on teaching seminars, Teaching Seminars--Pedagogy and Potential.
Abstract: This essay by Mercer University’s law dean is one of various contributions by Mercer law faculty to a print symposium, Faculty Essays on Curricular Reform and Instructional Innovation, for which the law dean also wrote an introduction. With its national award-winning Woodruff Curriculum, Mercer has long been a leader in matters of law school curriculum and pedagogy, and the symposium draws on that rich heritage.
The essay describes in detail, and explains the various advantages of, the distinctive seminar format that the author has developed over the years. Based on the author’s experience using this format in a variety of seminars in different subject areas (e.g., the Fourteenth Amendment, freedom of religion, and education law), the essay also discusses the types of subject areas that lend themselves best to the author’s preferred format.