New Perspectives on an “Old” Technique

By: Professor Emeritus Otto Stockmeyer

No citation of authority is necessary to establish that many beginning law students fear the Socratic method of teaching above all else. One reason is their dislike of having to stand in a room full of strangers while responding to their professor’s questions. Yet standing to recite has several benefits. Continue reading “New Perspectives on an “Old” Technique”

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Moving Forward by Looking Back: Encouraging Students to Practice Mindfulness and Reflection

By: Abigail L. Perdue

Encourage honest and productive self-exploration.

During the first semester of law school, 1Ls process a tremendous quantity of information in an incredibly short and hectic period of time. Hopefully, they also gain discernment as they evolve from analytical surface-dwellers to deep thinkers. For these reasons, a positive and productive 1L year provides an unparalleled opportunity for growth.

Yet to optimize the benefits of the first semester of law school, it is critical for students to practice mindfulness. Thus, throughout the year and again as we commence the spring semester, I encourage my 1Ls to engage in contemplative lawyering and to thoughtfully reflect upon their goals and performance. Below are some suggested ways that you can create a more mindful 1L experience for your students and thus, maximize their learning.[1] Continue reading “Moving Forward by Looking Back: Encouraging Students to Practice Mindfulness and Reflection”

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New Year, New Attitude: Teaching Students to Practice Gratitude

By: Jennifer Richwine with an introduction and contributions by Professor Abigail Perdue

The new year is the perfect time to consider fresh ways to foster the formation of a healthy professional identity in law students. So I invited my esteemed colleague and friend, Jennifer Richwine, author of With Gratitude: The Power of a Thank You Note, to share her insights regarding the importance of teaching law students to practice gratitude. As a result of my insightful conversations with Jennifer through the years about the importance of saying thank you in the professional world, I devoted a section of my book, The All-Inclusive Guide to Judicial Clerking, to the importance of expressing gratitude to recommenders, mentors, and judges when applying for clerkships. I also included a sample thank you note. Now Jennifer has generously agreed to share her observations with TeachLawBetter.com, and in keeping with her topic, we are so grateful. Thank you Jennifer! Continue reading “New Year, New Attitude: Teaching Students to Practice Gratitude”

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Proposing A Continuum of Legal Education and Collaboration Beyond Three Years

By: Gregory Bordelon, Executive Director of the Louisiana Committee on Bar Admissions

Law school may be three years, but preparing for life as a lawyer takes much longer – an educational journey that spans close to twenty, if we’re speaking only about formal schooling.  The intricate web of life events that influences a person’s decision to become a lawyer cannot be easily distilled through the often intense period of adapting to the first year of law school. It is not a “one size fits all” proposition.  This, in part, is why people react differently to the 1L year, some with intellectual exhilaration, some with confusion, and others with anxiety and doubt. I refer to studying legal education before and after law school as continuum studies – the study of how events before and after law school impact lawyering. Continue reading “Proposing A Continuum of Legal Education and Collaboration Beyond Three Years”

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