(Photo Credit: Missouri-The Great Whiskey Ring Trial, shared by The Cornell University Library via Flickr)
Written by Will Pasley
I was not a happy camper in law school. The teaching style was dry and confusing and during my first semester I found myself grasping in the darkness for an understanding of what the law actually is. The rare moments of lecture I found useful were when the law was laid out in a straightforward fashion. There were too few of those moments. Now that I am a lawyer and free of law school, I have had the opportunity to look a little deeper into the law school industry. I have a bit more sympathy for those professors than I did while I was in law school. They are stuck in a pedagogical quagmire.
When I had the opportunity to teach a series of classes for a group of apprentices, I realized I could teach the law the way I wish it had been taught to me… that is to say, straightforwardly. It was harder than I thought it would be and I felt myself reverting to some of the teaching styles I suffered through in law school. I have a love-hate relationship with the case method. On the one hand, I HATED it in law school. Often during my first year I felt lost and confused. Professors asking questions of the student audience both paralyzed me with fear of being called on and made it difficult for me to follow how the law fit together. Listening to a professor unsuccessfully fish for an answer for 10 minutes was incredibly boring and taught me nothing. But, on the other hand, I LOVE learning concepts through use of examples. It is hard for me to feel the flow of the law without seeing it applied. Examples also make it easier for me to...Continue Reading