Tuesday, September 19, 2023
1. Cox, Prentiss (Minnesota), Kill 1L (SSRN, September 8, 2023).
From the abstract:
Law school education has been extensively studied for decades, but changes have been modest. This Article makes the case that fundamental law school reform will not occur until we abolish the central pillar on which it rests—the current conception of the first year of law school, the “1L” experience. Many studies of law school curricula and pedagogy are sharply critical of the education offered, but they pull a punch when it comes to 1L. This Article compares recent data on 1L curricula at almost every U. S. law school with ABA-required law school statements of learning outcomes. The comparison reveals two contrasts: the gap between what is promised students for their legal education and what 1L delivers; and the gap between what is promised students and the actual use of law by attorneys, judges and even law professors in the modern world. The Article proposes a new 1L curriculum that would engage students in the law used by courts and policymakers while decreasing the demands placed on law students by the repetitive, inefficient legacy 1L curriculum.
2. Simon, Diana (Arizona), Legal Education and Trigger Warnings: More Harm Than Good? (SSRN, August 8, 2023).
From the abstract:
Should legal educators give trigger warnings and, in our zeal to protect students from potentially triggering content, are we doing them more harm than good? First, the author addresses the motivation for writing the article—to ensure that in making decisions relating to trigger warnings, instructors not only look to what educators have to say about trigger warnings but also look to what other disciplines have to say as well, including psychologists. Second, the term “trigger warning,” on the one hand, and the term “content warning,” on the other hand, will be addressed. Third, the pros and cons of warnings will be addressed from the perspective of educators in both college and law school. Fourth, the science behind the effectiveness of trigger warnings will be addressed, including their impact on student anxiety for students who do not suffer from PTSD and those that do, whether students who are given trigger warnings will avoid the material, and whether the type of warning given impacts the reaction of students. The article also discusses a survey explaining why professors do (or do not) give trigger warnings. The limitations and implications of these studies for law students will also be addressed. Finally, a proposal will be made that can help protect students while factoring in the science behind trigger warnings.
[Posted by Louis Schulze, FIU Law]