Wednesday, January 16, 2013
The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has just named Michael Hunter Schwartz as dean of its law school. Mike is one of the leaders of the legal education reform movement. He brought general education scholarship into the law school through his pioneering articles, Michael Hunter Schwartz, Teaching Law Students to be Self-Regulated Learners, 2003 Mich. St. DCL L. Rev. 447 (here) and Michael Hunter Schwartz, Teaching Law by Design: How Learning Theory and Instructional Design Can Inform and Reform Law Teaching, 38 San. Diego L. Rev. 347, 397 (2001) (here). He is editor of the Carolina Academic Press: Context and Practice Casebook series, and he co-authored (with Denise Riebe) Contracts: A Context and Practice Casebook (2009), which is a model for a new type of legal casebook. He has also authored an important article on writing legal casebooks (here). He was a contributing author to Best Practices for Legal Education (CLEA, 2007), and he is also co-director of the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning.
In the preface to his contracts casebook (at xxv), he wrote, "In 2000, the editor of this series, Professor Michael Hunter Schwartz, took a community college class in learning theory and instructional design. It changed his whole outlook on legal education. He learned that there are better ways to teach what we wanted our students to learn."
Through his work, Mike has changed our whole outlook on legal education.
The UALR press release is here.
Congratulations to Mike and to UALR. This is a very happy day for law school reform!!!
Update: The National Law Journal also has a nice article on Mike's appointment. (here) They write: "Schwartz has spent a decade studying effective ways to teach law and has written numerous books on that topic. For the past four years, he has examined the teaching techniques of 26 highly effective law professors for a book due out this summer. Among his findings is that great classroom teachers can also be productive scholars, Schwartz said—refuting the view that law professors must emphasize one or the other."
P.S. If you haven't read Mike's article on self-regulated learners (here), you need to do so as soon as possible.