Monday, May 14, 2018

Australian law school develops 1L bootcamp to enhance teaching of legal skills

This is new scholarship from down under discussing an innovative approach at one Australian law school to re-design its 1L curriculum to better impart the skills needed to succeed in law school. The cite is Adam Webster, et al., Enhancing the First Year Curriculum and Experience: Law School ‘Boot Camp’ 28 Legal Education Review 1 (2018) and the article can be found on SSRN here. From the introduction:

In 2013, the first year teaching team at the Adelaide Law School undertook a review of the first semester of the first year curriculum within the Bachelor of Laws degree. The focus of the review was on accommodating student needs, building student academic literacies and promoting early, effective engagement in the learning process. This review resulted in a collaborative approach to the teaching of the two initial compulsory subjects that has had a positive impact on the student experience. This article explains the changes that were made as a result of this review and reports on the consequent enhancement to the student experience by virtue of a supported transition to tertiary study.

First, this article sets out the challenge that faced the first year teaching team and the reasons for the redevelopment of the firstsemester of the first year curriculum. Second, the solution that was developed – a first year ‘Boot Camp’ – is explained. Third, the model is evaluated against the First Year Curriculum Principles developed by Sally Kift. In evaluating the redevelopment against these principles, the article also analyses student feedback and reports on the response to the restructure of the first year curriculum.


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