Professors Michael Hunter Schwartz, Sophie Sparrow, and Gerry Hess, leaders in legal education, have collaborated to offer a second edition of their book. Applying the research on teaching and learning, this book guides new and experienced law teachers through the process of designing and teaching a course. The book addresses how to plan a course, design a syllabus, plan individual class sessions, engage and motivate students, use a variety of teaching techniques, assess student learning, and how to be a life-long learner as a teacher. New chapters focus on creating lasting learning, experiential learning, and troubleshooting common teaching challenges.
Teaching Law re-imagines law school teaching and scholarship by going beyond crises now besetting the legal academy and examining deeper and longer-lasting challenges. The book argues that the legal academy has long neglected the need to focus teaching and scholarship on the ideals of justice that law fitfully serves, the political origins of law, and the development of a respectful but critical relationship with the legal profession. It suggests reforms to improve the quality of legal education and responds to concerns that law schools eschew the study of justice, rendering students amoralist; that law schools slight the political sources of law, particularly in legislative action; and that law schools have ignored the profession entirely. These areas of neglect have impoverished legal teaching and scholarship as the academy is refashioned in response to current financial exigencies, and addressing them is long overdue.
What makes a great law professor? The first study of its kind, What the Best Law Teachers Do identifies the methods, strategies, and personal traits of professors whose students achieve exceptional learning. This pioneering book will be of interest to any instructor seeking concrete, proven techniques for helping students succeed. What the Best Law Teachers Do introduces readers to twenty-six professors from law schools across the United States. These instructors are renowned for their exacting standards: they set expectations high, while also making course requirements--and their belief that their students can meet them--clear from the outset. They demonstrate professional behavior and tell students to approach class as they would their future professional life: by being as prepared, polished, and gracious as possible. And they prepare themselves for class in depth, even when they have taught the course for years. The best law professors understand that the little things matter. They start class on time and stay afterward to answer questions. They learn their students' names and respond promptly to emails. These instructors are all tough--but they are also committed, creative, and compassionate mentors. With its close-to-the-ground accounts of exceptional educators in action, What the Best Law Teachers Do offers insights into effective pedagogy that transcend the boundaries of legal education.