Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Academic and Bar Support Scholarship Spotlight

Occasionally, I focus on articles generally considered to be "must-read" scholarship in the field.  Here are two:

1. Elizabeth M. Bloom (Northeastern), Teaching Law Students to Teach Themselves: Using Lessons from Educational Psychology to Shape Self-Regulated Learners, 59 Wayne L. Rev. 311 (2013).

From the abstract:

Amidst current concerns about the value of a legal education, this article seeks to identify ways in which law schools and law professors can take steps to maximize the learning experience for their students. The article focuses on cutting-edge strategies that will help a diverse population of law students become self-regulated learners. Drawing on the work of educational psychologists, it describes ways to help students adapt to the demands of the law school learning experience and then outlines specific strategies for teaching students to regulate their motivational beliefs, their resource management practices, and their approaches to mastering the material. Throughout, the article emphasizes the importance of these skills for success both as law students and as lawyers. Finally, checklists are provided to help law professors build a culture of self-regulated learning in their schools.

2.  DeShun Harris (Memphis), Office Hours Are Not Obsolete: Fostering Learning Through One-on-One Student Meetings, 57 Duquesne L. Rev. 43 (2018).

From the abstract:

Office hours, whether it is the traditional notion of an office hour whereby the professor has designated times for students to visit, office hours by appointment, or an open-door policy, are a great learning opportunity for students. In the law school context, the American Bar Association (ABA) requires full-time faculty members to “[be] available for student consultation about those classes” they teach. In addition to office hours, students meet one-on-one with faculty in a variety of ways: mentoring, advocacy coaching, answering substantive questions, legal writing conferences, law review note advising, career/academic support counseling, and for so many other purposes. Indeed, law students reported on the Law School Survey of Student Engagement (LSSSE), that most students have worked with faculty on activities other than coursework.

In evaluating the literature on teaching and learning, a great deal is written about the classroom, but what about the teaching and learning that can, and does, occur during office hours? Given the many instances during which students and faculty interact on a one-on-one basis, the limited literature on office hours in law school should be expanded to ensure we create the best learning from these instances. This article expands the research by discussing the impediments to students’ use of office hours and how to overcome them, discussing the office setting and how to make sure an office setting communicates to students a welcoming environment, exploring how to effectively navigate through an office hour by using the latest research on the office hour, and exploring how to create an environment that is best for learning.

[Louis Schulze, FIU Law]


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