Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Jamie Abrams at
“The First ‘Colonial Frontier’ Legal Writing Conference, held at Duquesne University School of Law, focused on Engendering Hope in the Legal Writing Classroom: Pedagogy, Curriculum, and Attitude. This conference built on the foundational work of Allison Martin and Kevin Rand in which these scholars call for educators to engender hope in law students to prepare them for practice. Martin and Rand conclude that hope is a predictor of students’ academic performance and psychological health during the first semester of law school and recommend that law professors ‘maintain and creat[e] hope in law students’ by embracing five core principles. Martin and Rand’s core principles recommend that law faculty ‘(A) help law students formulate appropriate goals, (B) increase law student’s autonomy, (C) model the learning process, (D) help law students understand grading as feedback rather than as pure evaluation, and (E) model and encourage agentic thinking.’ Martin and Rand’s work provides concrete recommendation on how to ‘engender hope’ in the legal writing classroom in particular.
“Martin and Rand’s frame for approaching legal education is both timely and responsive considering the rapidly evolving legal market and the ongoing calls for reform in legal education. As the Carnegie Report highlighted: ‘Critics of the legal profession, both from within and without, have pointed to a great profession suffering from varying degrees of confusion and demoralization. A reawakening of professional élan must include, in an important way, revitalizing legal preparation.’ Martin and
“This article uses Martin and