Friday, February 1, 2008

Doorey on Teaching Labor Law to Non-Law Students

D_doorey David Doorey (York Univ. (Canada)) has posted on SSRN his forthcoming piece in the Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal: Harry and the Steelworker (or Teaching Labor Law to Non-Law Students.

Here's the abstract:

This paper examines the challenge of teaching labor and employment law to non-law university students. Labor and employment law content is widely taught outside of law schools in North American, in business schools and in industrial relations, human resource management, and other undergraduate programs. However, there has been hardly any research into core pedagogical questions, such as why we are teaching this material to non-lawyers in the first place, and, how we should be teaching it? This paper explores these questions and encourages researchers to explore them as part of a broader empirical research agenda going forward.

An important pedagogical piece about how we as professors can go about make labor and employment law more accessible to a wider audience.


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This is a fascinating topic. I taught labor law as an adjunct at Rutgers to union officials. That experience, coupled with my regular service as an "information officer" at the National Labor Relations Board - explaining basic labor law to members of the general public who call in to ask about filing a charge with the NLRB, caused me to think about the labor law that is "in the head" of the general public. This "assumed" labor law can be a real obstacle to explaining what, in fact, the law is. As law school teachers we all know something about that phenomenon. But our students tend to have at least a rudimentary understanding of legal process that provides (ideally) for the incorporation of actual doctrine. Non-law students (and laypersons) typically can't be slowed down by such "nonsense."

Posted by: Michael Duff | Feb 1, 2008 8:56:25 AM

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