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December 28, 2007

Gearing up for the (innovative?) 2008 edition of AALS annual meeting

I am now in gear-up mode for next week's Association of American Law Schools meeting in NYC.  (Of course, co-blogger Gene Koo was way ahead of me and has organized great some AALS events discussed here.)

This year there are a large number of official AALS panels for would-be law school innovators (which is not surprising given that the AALS meeting theme this year is "Reassessing Our Roles as Scholars and Educators in Light of Change").  Though I won't be able to make all the LSI-friendly sessions (some of which are at the same time!), the following panels are ear-marked in my program:

Friday, Jan. 4 (full schedule here)

Saturday, Jan. 5 (full schedule here)

This is only an abridged list of LSI-friendly sessions at AALS this year.  Notably, even the curmudgeonly Orin Kerr notes here that "whatever the past failings of the AALS, this year's offerings look much better than the usual ones."  And Eric Muller provides here a link this his essential AALS-meeting user's guide.

Posted by DAB

December 28, 2007 in Conferences | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 27, 2007

Teaching Students to Think Like 1870s Lawyers

When we talk about law school "innovation," we're really talking about law school reform. And isn't it about time? Law schools have succeeded in teaching students to think like lawyers: "1870s lawyers," said Edward L. Rubin, dean of Vanderbilt University Law School, in the Chronicle of Higher Education's Leading Legal Educators Call for a Shakeup in How the Law Is Taught (sub. required).

Hat tip to TaxProf Blog. -- Joe Hodnicki

December 27, 2007 in Reform | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

December 26, 2007

Advances in Book-Hauling Technologies

Gene's post on the likely failure of the Kindle within law schools was spot-on, unfortunately.  It seems that the most important technological advances relating to law books is in the devices to carry them.

When I began teaching seven years ago, I was surprised to find the students flooding into school dragging wheeled suitcases.  It looked like a flight attendant convention.  The functionality of those wheeled bags became clear, though, once I saw others staggering with gigantic and fully-laden backpacks.  The wheeled cubes were made possible by the development of rubber in-line skate wheels, which were eventually adapted for use with luggage.  Thus far, these skate wheels are probably the most successful technology we have relating to textbooks.

We provide lockers at school, but the students take nearly everything home with them to complete all of their reading.  Each one of these pack animals, I imagine, represents a failure of technology.  If not the Kindle, then what?  Is part of the problem our current expensive process of using large textbooks, only a fraction of which will sometimes be assigned for a given class?  It seems there must be a better way.

-- Mark Osler

December 26, 2007 | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack