Prospective Law Professors
I. General Information
Harvard Law Record (Dina Awerbuch), Prof. Levinson Demystifies the Path to Legal Academia
Marilyn Tucker, Considering a Career in Law Teaching?
Theodore Eisenberg & Martin Wells, Inbreeding in Law School Hiring: Assessing the Performance of Faculty Hired from Within, 29 J. Legal Stud. 369 (2000).
James Gordley, Mere Brilliance: The Recruitment of Law Professors in the United States, 41 Am. J. Comp. L. 367 (1993).
Deborah Merritt & Barbara Reskin, The Double Minority: Empirical Evidence of a Double Standard in Law School Hiring of Minority Women, 65 S. Cal. L. Rev. 2299 (1992).
Deborah Merritt & Barbara Reskin, Sex, Race, and Credentials: the Truth About Affirmative Action in Law Faculty Hiring, 97 Colum. L. Rev. 199 (1997).
Current Law Professors
I. General Information
Susan Becker, Advice for the New Law Professor: A View from the Trenches, 42 J. Legal Educ. 432 (1992).
Mary Olszewski & Thomas E. Baker, An Annotated Bibliography on Law Teaching, 18 Persp. 34 (2009).
Kent Syverud, Taking Students Seriously: A Guide for New Law Teachers, 43 J. Legal Educ. 247 (1993).
Kent Syverud, The Caste System and Best Practices in Legal Education, 1 J. Ass’n Legal Writing Directors (2002).
Donald J. Kochan, Thinking in a Deweyan Perspective: The Law School Exam as a Case Study for Thinking in Lawyering, 12 Nev. L.J. 395 (2012).
“…this Article is not your typical how-to guide, but instead provides guidance critically and generally applicable to the thinking enterprise itself.”
Linda R. Crane, Grading Law School Examinations: Making a Case for Objective Exams to Cure What Ails “Objectified” Exams, 34 New Eng. L. Rev. 785 (2000).
“There is a remarkable inconsistency between the method of teaching law school subjects by focusing on judicial opinions, … and the method of testing law school subjects by using borderline fact laden hypothetical situations” and proposes that more professors use objective law exams.”
Philip C. Kissam, The Ideology of the Case Method/Final Examination Law School, 70 U. Cin. L. Rev. 137 (2001).
“The ideological forces that sustain the traditional system of legal education require examination in order to establish a fair and open evaluation of the system and of proposals that would change the system. This article analyzes these forces and then concludes its critique by sketching a fanciful but realistic utopia of legal education that would decenter the case method/final examination system and install diverse alternative methods throughout the law school curriculum.”
Philip C. Kissam, Law School Examinations, 42 Vand. L. Rev. 433 (1989).
“This Essay provides a systemic analysis’ and a total critique by assessing the structure, contextual relationships, values, and adverse effects of law school examinations.”
Grant H. Morris, Preparing Law Students for Disappointing Exam Results: Lessons from Casey at the Bat, 45 San Diego L. Rev. (2008).
This article discusses whether law professors should prepare their students for the disappointing grades that many will receive and suggests that professors do have a duty to confront this problem. The author goes on to “offer a strategy by which professors can acknowledge students’ pre-examination anxiety and deal constructively with their impending disappointment.”
Norman Redlich & Steven Friedland, Challenging Tradition: Using Objective Questions in Law School Exams, 41 DePaul L. Rev. 143 (1991).
This article criticizes the traditional “issue-spotter” Blue Book law exam and suggests that it should be supplemented with an objective component.
Michael S. Jacobs, Law School Examinations and Churchillian Democracy: A Reply to Professors Redlich and Friedland, 41 DePaul L. Rev. 159 (1991).
This article dismisses the claims by Profs. Redlich and Friedland that objective law schools exams would be preferable (and preferred) to essay examinations.
Norman Redlich & Steven Friedland, Reply to Professor Jacobs: Right Answer, Wrong Question, 41 DePaul L. Rev. 183 (1991).
The response to Prof. Jacobs’ reply to their initial article.
Gregory Sergienko, New Modes of Assessment, 38 San Diego L. Rev. 463 (2001).
“The purpose of this Article is to call attention to a variety of alternatives to this traditional format that are more accurate and less burdensome than traditional essay exams. Increasing accuracy makes it possible to determine whether the instruction has been effective, allowing the instructor to address areas of weakness before the course ends and to improve future classes. Decreasing the burden of assessment of student learning allows for faster feedback, which is more effective.”
Paul T. Wangerin, Alternative Grading in Large Section Law School Classes, 6 U. Fla. J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 53 (1993).
Prof. Wangerin attempts to reconcile these two propositions: First, law school teachers despise grading and most will not commit more time to it. Second, most law school classes use the end-of-term essay exam, “which is not consistent with generally accepted theory regarding grading in higher education. This theory indicates that a much better grading system involves frequent testing and frequent feedback.” The professor describes other grading systems which provide more frequent feedback, but which do not increase time spent grading.
Ron M. Aizen, Four Ways to Better 1L Assessments, 54 Duke L.J. 765 (2004).
The author, a former English teacher turned law student, argues that law schools should “increase the quantity, quality, and variety of first-year assessments.”
Anne Enquist, Critiquing and Evaluating Law Students’ Writing: Advice from Thirty-Five Experts, 22 Seattle U. L. Rev. 1119 (1999).
Compiles the advice of 35 legal writing teachers, each with at least 5 years experience, who responded to the author’s survey.
Steven I. Friedland, A Critical Inquiry into the Traditional Uses of Law School Evaluation, 23 Pace L. Rev. 147 (2002).”Law schools and instructors have undervalued assessment as a teaching tool and overvalued evaluation as an accurate, objective measuring device.” The author proposes a “dualist approach to the evaluation function, enhancing evaluations as measuring devices and expanding evaluations to serve as pedagogical tools.”
Daniel Keating, Ten Myths About Law School Grading, 76 Wash. U. L.Q. 171 (1998).
The author identifies the following myths: Law School Grades Are a Good Predictor of Who Will Become a Good Lawyer, Law School Grading Is Not REALLY Anonymous, My Grades Would Be Higher, If Only I Could Learn Exam Technique, Law School Administrators Serve as a Grade Appeals Court to Reverse Particularly Unfair Grades of Professors, Students Generally Benefit from a System in Which Employers Are Given as Little Information as Possible About Relative Class Standing, Law School Grades Have Objective, Non-Relative Meaning Myth, Fewer Gradations in a Grading System Are Better Than More Gradations, It Is Mathematically and Equitably Justifiable to Deviate from a Purely Linear Conversion of Raw to Actual Points, Mandatory Medians And Other Such Restrictions on a Grader’s Autonomy Are Undesirable and Unfair, Students in Small Classes and Seminars Should Generally Get Higher Grades.
James B. Levy, As a Last Resort, Ask the Students: What They Say Makes Someone an Effective Law Teacher, 58 Me. L. Rev. 49 (2006).
Discusses the results of a student survey of two law schools that “asked students to give their opinions about what makes someone an effective, and conversely an ineffective, law school teacher. In particular, the survey focused on asking students to identify the personality traits, personal characteristics, and classroom behaviors that make someone a good teacher. “
VI. Pedgagogical Technology
Paul Caron, Teaching with Technology in the 21st Century Law School Classroom, The Future of Law Libraries (2006).
Paul Caron & Rafael Gely, Taking Back the Law School Classroom: Using Technology to Foster Active Student Learning, 54 J. Legal Educ. 551 (2004).
VII. Pedagogical Techniques and Theory
Donald J. Kochan, “Learning” Research and Legal Education: A Brief Overview and Selected Bibliographical Survey, 40 SW. U.L. Rev. 449 (2011). (Selected as the June 2011 Article of the Month by the Institute for Law Teaching and Learning.)
Steven I. Friedland, How We Teach: A Survey of Teaching Techniques in American Law Schools, 20 Seattle U. L. Rev. 1 (1996).
Arturo Lopez Torres & Mary Kay Lundwall, Moving Beyond Langdell II: An Annotated Bibliography of Current Methods of Law Teaching, 35 Gonz. L. Rev. 1 (2000).