Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Making Law Fun

About this time of year, I try to bring in examples of *fun* in the law for my 1L's in my ASP class.  They tend to be so discouraged, so beat-up, and it's helpful to remind them that the law is alive, vibrant, and yes, fun. I want students see remember law is a part of their lives in ways they may not see in their 1L classes. 

Credit where credit is due: This is not my idea; I borrowed this from one of my favorite professors at UNC Law, Dean Lolly Gasaway, who uses this in her Copyright class.

Law and Pop Culture:
Did George Harrison violate copyright laws by plagiarizing the melody from "He's So Fine" by the Chiffon's for his hit single "My Sweet Lord"?


This website allows you to play both songs simultaneously, so students can hear the similarities, and judge for themselves whether one of the best-selling artists of all time (as part of the Beatles) lifted the melody from a '60's classic.

The New York Times ran an article on fox-hunting with dogs in England on Monday, Feb. 18, 2008.
"Tally Ho! A Determined Crew Hunts for Fox Hunters" by Sarah Lyall


This article can be a great tool to make Pierson v. Post come alive for students who don't see the relevance of a case on fox-hunting, with cross-over possibilities for discussing Keeble v. Hickeringill and Ghen v. Rich.  It also deals with ambiguity in the law; another great discussion-starter for a 1L class.  There are a lot of silly details in the article that make it fun to read and discuss, but opens up the importance of old cases to young law students.  And yes, fox hunting is still an important sport. (Rebecca Flanagan)


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