As law professors, we have multiple teaching goals. Traditionally, the major goal has been to teach black-letter law as well as the legal reasoning process (how to “think like a lawyer”). On top of that, some observers have suggested that law classes should teach other practice skills. As a professor, I recognize that I don’t have time to do everything. I’ve experimented with some different approaches in the past. For instance, as I’ve written, I’ve tried introducing practice-like exercises in courses. But of course, there’s some balancing required. Our ability to experiment depends on our teaching goals and the time available to dedicate to different projects.
This past semester, I tried something new. After some of my students had less than ideal results in some prior bar administrations, I wanted to prepare students for testing on the material — both the black-letter law, and the testing process. With that focus, I tried implementing a paced learning system. Here’s what I did, and here’s how it worked out. Read More