Professors Michael Hunter Schwartz, Sophie Sparrow, and Gerry Hess, three leaders in the teaching and learning movement in legal education, have collaborated to offer a new book designed to synthesize the latest research on teaching and learning for new and experienced law teachers. The book begins with basic principles of teaching and learning theory, provides insights into how law students experience traditional law teaching, and then guides law teachers through the entire process of teaching a course. The topics addressed include: how to plan a course; how to design a syllabus and select a text; how to plan individual class sessions; how to engage and motivate students, even those tough-to-crack second- and third-year students; how to use a wide variety of teaching techniques; how to evaluate student learning, both for the purposes of assigning grades and of improving student learning; and how to be a lifelong learner as a teacher.
“Teaching Law by Design should be mandatory reading for new law professors regardless of their subject matter and whether they teach casebook or skills courses. The book provides suggestions that will be helpful even to the more experienced professor… For the new teacher, the book provides teaching exercises, such as think-pair-share, that one would otherwise need to attend a teaching conference to learn about. For the experienced teacher, the book provides not only some fresh teaching tips, but also helpful reminders of sage advice, such as the value of including real life experiences (videos, field trips) into law courses… Deans would be wise to distribute Teaching Law by Design to assist their faculty in honing their law skills.” — Robin A. Boyle, Professor of Legal Writing and Director of Academic Support, St. Johns University School of Law