December 15, 2006
WWJD?: Welcome Dean Chen
Congratulations to contributing editor Jim Chen on his new position as Dean of the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. The question now buzzing throughout the law school world is "What Will Jim Do?" to innovate at his new institution. Here are some possibilities and related food-for-thought for the new Dean from LSI's archives:
- Innovative law school courses
- Why shouldn't all law schools regularly host real oral arguments?
- Student blogging as an educational experience
- Should law professors be required to practice?
- Innovating the third-year: no standard classes?
- Apprenticeship as Part of Legal Education
- Power to the students? The case of laptops in the classroom
December 12, 2006
Power to the students? The case of laptops in the classroom
The first issue that we discussed at our forum last Thursday, on which we also lingered the longest, animated the unending controversy over laptops in the classroom. (Listen to this discussion). The topic itself interests me far less than what it seems to represent: a shift of power from professors to students in today's law school classes. (It also represents the changing skills and knowledge that a future lawyer needs, but more on that later).
Of course professors and students have always struggled over control of the classroom, but if my own law teachers were playing defense against the hornbooks sold in our school bookstore, teachers today are battling the entire Web. Students disgruntled with the quality (or entertainment value) of their professors can pool knowledge with peers around the country, view other professors' lessons and presentations, and even download MP3 readings of cases, iTunes-like. So, as Dean Pat Hobbs noted in the panel, students are increasingly expecting professors to entertain them. But I'm not convinced that this is the only dimension of change.
I propose that a law professor (and all teachers in general) cannot erect infinitely high seawalls against a rising tide of information and opinions -- indeed, given the reality that law students will step into as practitioners, such an approach may even be harmful. Rather, perhaps professors are increasingly being called on to serve as architects of an educational space that students create together and not just as drill sergeants of knowledge.
I am deliberately attempting to provoke discussion here -- please post your comments!
- Gene Koo
Forum on Legal Education in a Networked World: video, audio, text posted
Last Thursday we held our forum on technology in legal education. See full writeup, including quotes of note, remastered audio segments, and links to the promised video and Question Tool. I hope many of you were able to drop in on this session and try out either Second Life or the Question Tool. (I know Elmer was with us!).
Over the next week or so I hope to distill and throw out for your consideration some of the issues that the forum raised. In the meantime, watch the event and please post your comments here or on vvv:v.
- Gene Koo
Prominent profs affiliating with prominent firms
Who says established and renown law professors cannot be innovative? As detailed here at the WSJ Law Blog, Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe has has continued a new innovate consulting trend by engineering a deal with Akin Gump. As the WSJ Blog notes:
Akin Gump's announcement continues the trend of firms cutting various arrangements with prominent law professors. Last year, Stanford's Kathleen Sullivan, a protege of Tribe, joined Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges's Silicon Valley office in an of counsel position. Earlier this year, UCLA's Eugene Volokh affiliated with Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw.