Monday, February 11, 2013
New legal "skills" scholarship: "Enhancing the teaching of lawyering skills and perspectives through virtual world engagement"
This article is by Professor Andrea M. Seielstad (Dayton) and available at 7 U Mass L. Rev. 40 (2012) and here. From the abstract:
Educators from around the globe are rapidly utilizing and transforming virtual worlds, such as Second Life, with innovative teaching strategies. Mediation and dispute resolution, and associated communication and problem-solving skills, are particularly well suited for developing in virtual worlds, as are other lawyering skills such as, interviewing, counseling and trial advocacy. The opportunities for students and faculty to engage in cross-cultural exchange and networking are another selling feature of virtual world engagement. Virtual worlds offer particular promise for those seeking innovative and cost-effective ways to integrate more professional training and skills development into the law school curriculum. Moreover, as more and more people enter virtual worlds and other forms or online social engagement, there is increasing need to offer innovative online opportunities for student learning. This article uses a project on teaching dispute resolution skills to law students conducted in the virtual world, Second Life, to show the advantages of utilizing a virtual world as a medium within the law school curriculum.