Law To Fact

The Professor and the Judge Teach Civil Procedure

December 17, 2019 Judge Lisa Margaret Smith, Professor Michael Mushlin and Professor Leslie Garfield Tenzer Episode 92
Law To Fact
The Professor and the Judge Teach Civil Procedure
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Law To Fact
The Professor and the Judge Teach Civil Procedure
Dec 17, 2019 Episode 92
Judge Lisa Margaret Smith, Professor Michael Mushlin and Professor Leslie Garfield Tenzer

In this episode...

Judge Lisa Margaret Smith, Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York and Professor Michael Mushlin, Elisabeth Haub School of Law share their experience jointly teaching their 1L Civil Procedure class with a courtroom component. The program gives the students a flavor of the practical aspects of civil procedure and a context within which to grasp doctrinal concepts. Their approach supplements the traditional casebook materials and typical Socratic teaching method used in first-year law courses by challenging students to draft court documents, allowing them to visit a federal court and meet regularly with the judge. Their approach recognizes the disconnect between 1L doctrinal classroom teaching and the practice of law. This class provides students with context, which translates to a greater interest in and understanding of Civil Procedure Substantive law. The experience has been a huge hit among those who have had the good fortune of taking the class. You can read more about the class, including an analysis of the benefits and costs of the program in Judge Smith and Professor Mushlin's article,  The Professor and the Judge: Introducing First-Year Law Students to the Law in Context, 63 J. Legal. Educ. 460 (2014).

This episode is of value to law students, who will learn the importance of courtroom experience. Judge Smith also explains how law students can gain access to a courtroom even if students do not have the benefit of a formal program. The episode is equally important to law professors. Professor Mushlin's first-hand experience is enough to convince any law professor to incorporate some experiential work into every doctrinal class.

Some key takeaways are...
1. Students learn better when they understand the context of the material
2. Many schools overlook the fact that students do not have context as they have never been in a courtroom before, and, if they are first-generation law students, they do not have exposure to the legal profession.
3. Skills assignments and courtroom exposure during the 1L year increase student investment in the subject matter.

As always, if you have any suggestions for an episode topic, please let us know! You can email us at [email protected] or tweet to @lawtofact. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@lawtofact) and to like us on FaceBook! And finally, your ratings and reviews matter! Please leave us a review on iTunes. 

 Want to stay updated on all things Law to Fact? Join our mailing list by visiting us at www.lawtofact.com.


Show Notes

In this episode...

Judge Lisa Margaret Smith, Magistrate Judge, Southern District of New York and Professor Michael Mushlin, Elisabeth Haub School of Law share their experience jointly teaching their 1L Civil Procedure class with a courtroom component. The program gives the students a flavor of the practical aspects of civil procedure and a context within which to grasp doctrinal concepts. Their approach supplements the traditional casebook materials and typical Socratic teaching method used in first-year law courses by challenging students to draft court documents, allowing them to visit a federal court and meet regularly with the judge. Their approach recognizes the disconnect between 1L doctrinal classroom teaching and the practice of law. This class provides students with context, which translates to a greater interest in and understanding of Civil Procedure Substantive law. The experience has been a huge hit among those who have had the good fortune of taking the class. You can read more about the class, including an analysis of the benefits and costs of the program in Judge Smith and Professor Mushlin's article,  The Professor and the Judge: Introducing First-Year Law Students to the Law in Context, 63 J. Legal. Educ. 460 (2014).

This episode is of value to law students, who will learn the importance of courtroom experience. Judge Smith also explains how law students can gain access to a courtroom even if students do not have the benefit of a formal program. The episode is equally important to law professors. Professor Mushlin's first-hand experience is enough to convince any law professor to incorporate some experiential work into every doctrinal class.

Some key takeaways are...
1. Students learn better when they understand the context of the material
2. Many schools overlook the fact that students do not have context as they have never been in a courtroom before, and, if they are first-generation law students, they do not have exposure to the legal profession.
3. Skills assignments and courtroom exposure during the 1L year increase student investment in the subject matter.

As always, if you have any suggestions for an episode topic, please let us know! You can email us at [email protected] or tweet to @lawtofact. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@lawtofact) and to like us on FaceBook! And finally, your ratings and reviews matter! Please leave us a review on iTunes. 

 Want to stay updated on all things Law to Fact? Join our mailing list by visiting us at www.lawtofact.com.