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Teaching Constitutional Law

Gerard Magliocca

Gerard N. Magliocca is the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law. Professor Magliocca is the author of three books and over twenty articles on constitutional law and intellectual property. He received his undergraduate degree from Stanford, his law degree from Yale, and joined the faculty after two years as an attorney at Covington and Burling and one year as a law clerk for Judge Guido Calabresi on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Professor Magliocca has received the Best New Professor Award and the Black Cane (Most Outstanding Professor) from the student body, and in 2008 held the Fulbright-Dow Distinguished Research Chair of the Roosevelt Study Center in Middelburg, The Netherlands. He was elected to the American Law Institute (ALI) in 2013.

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5 Responses

  1. Lori Ringhand says:

    I have had exactly the same experience teaching the individual rights portion of our con law curriculum. One thing I did last year was to reduce the number of cases students read and instead have them read the briefs submitted by the parties in the leading cases. I assigned the briefs a day before I assigned the decision itself.

    I think this really helped the students better understand the nuances of the cases, and lessened the impulse to jump immediately to their preferred answer. It also brought con law into the realm of the actual practice of law – briefing and arguing cases – which seemed to encourage the students to think more critically about the materials.

  2. Vladimir says:

    Which case book, out of curiousity, are you switching to, with more history?

  3. SusanS says:

    The con law courses I had all did really well on points 1-3, but I felt like they never even acknowledged number 4. I really wish that had been emphasized more; the overall impression the courses tended to leave is that constitutional law is the sole domain of the Supreme Court justices and is never shaped and influenced by outside government forces.

  4. AdamJ says:

    The only way to really understand the subject and be able to analyze critically the issues arising is to understand the history as well as the context. I think assigning history along with the cases to be read may involve more work on the part of students, but it makes the learning experience complete and gives them the capability to understand and discuss the issues as well as potentially to change their views.

  5. DCLawyer says:

    Some Louis Fisher would be useful to deal with #4. He definitely takes a much more holistic approach.

    As to #3, good luck with that!