A One Semester Family Law Class

This is a rough draft outline for a class with three purposes:

  1. The outline provides an example on how to provide a writing and feedback intensive environment for students. The entire outline revolves around teaching knowledge and written application.
    .
  2. The material is material that provides useful applied knowledge and skill for the students in the class.  Students tend to graduate without any useful skills or abilities.  This class provides a useful core knowledge for practice after graduation.
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  3. The outline validates earlier thesis in the Pragmatic Reform of Legal Education:  A Critical Syllabus series.  By the time the reader is finished with this essay they ought to be thinking -- I can teach topic " -- " that way too!
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  4. For related materials (somewhat longer than this short essay) see The Paraclinical Approach.

Class Outline

Weekly Outline:

Day One (a):  Reading Assignment then Lecture and writing assignment.

Day One (b):  Student study group review of written drafts of members (3-5 in each group).

Day Two (a):  Follow-up lecture with template example for writing assignment distributed and discussed.  Draft to final and turned in.

Day Two (b):  Study groups grade each other's final drafts.  Students rewrite and submit for grading to Professor (pass/fail).  By this time the students will have done a draft, had a template, had their draft finalized, had it graded by another study group and then turned in a revised draft.  99% should pass without significant issues.  Family law, with the standardized pleadings and forms, lends itself very well to this approach.

Day Three (a):  Lecture.  Advanced discussion on each topic.

Day Three (b):  Office visits prn.

By the end of the semester the student will have drafted each pleading that will arise in a divorce and will have reviewed and discussed it.  The final will be the proper selection of the right pleadings for complex situations and identifying the right answer to complex family law issues.


Originally found at:  http://members.aol.com/Ethesis/mw3/rf6/family.htm


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