Close your eyes for the briefest moment and “picture law school”. Assuming you have never been to law school, which would trigger actual memories, you probably pictured dark wood paneling, rows of books, leather chairs and perhaps a roaring fire … Don’t be embarrassed. My polling of first year students indicates that we all had this vision (a far cry from the concrete bunker-style classrooms in uOttawa’s Fauteux Hall). Stately study-space aside, one of the main things I thought I would find at law school was the Socratic method – an intimidating and mysterious pedagogical tool that would cause lots of anxiety and discomfort, but that would ultimately teach me the skills I need to be an effective lawyer. And that, for me, means kicking butt with killer logic in the courtroom (I expand on this less crudely below). (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Socratic method’
Posted in Conflict & Dialectics, Going to law school, Reviews & Recommendations, tagged 1L, Anthony D'Amato, Bruce Feldthusen, Dave Matthews, dialectics, Eric Carle, Ian Kerr, law school, pedagogy, Socratic method, The Paper Chase, University of Ottawa on September 18, 2011 | 3 Comments »
“The common law itself is a sort of vast mind, absorbing and processing the real-world problems of litigants through the intensive adversarial debates of opposing counsel.” ~Anthony D’Amato, in ‘The Decline and Fall of Law Teaching in the Age of Student Consumerism’ 37 Journal of Legal Education 461 (1987).
Curious about Common Law vs. Civil Law? Did you know that while Canada has a Common Law legal system (inherited from England, and like much of the common wealth), Québec uses a Civil Law system (like much of the world including Europe, much of Asia and almost all of South America)?