Schwartz’s Context and Practice Casebook Series

Michael Hunter Schwartz, Context and Practice Casebook Series, July 2009; http://www.washburnlaw.edu/faculty/schwartz-michael-pub.php

Professor Michael Hunter Schwartz, a nationally known teaching and learning scholar, designed the Context and Practice (CAP) Casebook Series to make it easy for professors to implement the ideas in Best Practices for Legal Education (2007) and in the Carnegie Foundation’s Educating Lawyers: Preparation for the Practice of Law (2007).

A few principles are core to the Context and Practice series’ vision. Best Practices recommends that law professors set high expectations, “engage the students in active learning,” “give regular and prompt feedback,” “help students improve their self-directed learning skills,” “employ multiple methods of instruction,” and, in particular, “use context-based instruction.” Educating Lawyers argues that law professors need to do a better job helping students build practice skills and develop their professional identities.

Accordingly, the books in the Context and Practice series:

  • Provide resources, such as multiple-choice question banks and essays with answers, designed to make it easier for professors to provide students opportunities for practice and feedback;
  • Focus on problem-solving in simulated law practice contexts across a wide range of practices, including both advocacy and transactional practices;
  • Include teachers’ manuals that make it easy to use multiple methods of instruction and to emphasize active learning;
  • Guide students’ development of self-directed learning strategies;
  • Incorporate learning objectives and doctrinal overviews and situate topics in the law practice contexts in which they arise;
  • Include questions that prompt readers to question, reflect, and analyze as they read; . Provide exercises that require students to reflect on the roles of lawyers and their own professional development;
  • Integrate self-regulated learning skills and exercises; and
  • Help students to discover links between what they are learning and real life.

The series covers both core first-year subjects and upper level courses.

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