Monday, December 18, 2006

Case Method in Law School Teaching

Over at the VC, David Post has some commentary on an issue near and dear to my heart -- using unedited cases in law school.  His basic position is against.  In the comments to his post, I've stated my position to the contrary.  But anyway, if you're interested in this issue, read the whole thing.

Ben Barros

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This sounds more like an exercise for the Legal Methods/Analysis courses. Can there really be that much more one can learn by reading what had originally been left out? I generally oppose abrigement of any sort in any medium, but given the enormous volume of material law students are subjected to, I suspect this approach will satisfy the academics more than their audience.

Let us remember also that most opinions are rarely pieces of legal masterwork. In fact, it's been my experience that most judges could have used a lot more writing courses prior to passing the bar! So, going with the unedited approach, though in a perfect world something I'd prefer, may necessitate the professor being exceedingly adept at choosing cases which have been very well written. That's a tough assignment.

My cynical heart tells me however that today's students aren't going to appreciate the scope of this, unless perhaps, as I mentioned, it could be implemented in a Legal Methods kind of format. Maybe limited selection of unedited material, on matter of greatest importance within the course, is the best approach.

Posted by: Sam Gompers | Dec 20, 2006 6:59:03 AM

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