Monday, March 21, 2016

Teaching the Craft of Law: Teaching Intuition

At the Wisconsin Lawyer (March 2016), Professor Chad Oldfather thinks about what he teaches and reflects on his first year in law school and what he learned:

It would be foolish to suggest that I learned nothing. But it turns out that what stuck was less the doctrine and more the underlying ideas. I acquired more “knowledge how” than “knowledge that.” I started to learn, as the saying goes, to think like a lawyer. It’s a process involving the development of intuition and feel, much like learning to ride a horse.

I have not abandoned teaching “knowledge that.” We study criminal law using Wisconsin materials, and my constitutional law class features all the standard cases. But I have become more mindful of, and explicit about, the fact that I am teaching “knowledge how.” I have tried to adapt, in ways that are often as much about attitude as they are about technique, the best of what I have seen in the world of riding instruction. More fundamentals. More repetition.

You can read more here.


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