Monday, October 24, 2011
In a new article, Paul Figley presents some practical ideas for teaching rule synthesis. Teaching Rule Synthesis with Real Cases, 61 J. Leg. Educ. 245 (Nov. 2011). He begins by explaining why rule synthesis is important: a writer who simply discusses and applies cases one by one is not engaging in legal analysis. Figley next offers a homespun example, “Crabby Mrs. McGinty’s Garden Hose,” to illustrate how a rule might be synthesized. He then presents a series of excerpts from Massachusetts slip-and-fall cases to show how students might synthesize and apply a rule. These exercises may be especially helpful to newer teachers looking for effective ways to cover rule synthesis.