March 03, 2008
My Last Post: "Capstone" courses
Posted by Brett McDonnell

I've reached the end of my visit.  I want to thank again everyone here at the Conglomerate.  It remains my favorite read in the blogosphere.

For my last post, I return to the topic of changes to the law school curriculum, since that is taking up much of my time and energy at this point.  I blogged previously about some of the changes were are making to our first year curriculum here at Minnesota.  I actually think that more work needs to be done with the third year rather than the first year.  We have started thinking about the third year, and have just begun to develop a series of what we are calling "capstone" courses.  These will be focused on trying to give students a better sense of what practice in some particular areas is like.  They will be simulation-based and team taught.

An example of a possible course of particular interest to readers here is our start-up company capstone proposal.  In this, students would follow a fictional start-up company through critical stages in its development.  One faculty member would teach about choice of entity and formation, and the students would draft certificates and bylaws.  Another faculty would teach about employment law, and the students would draft employment agreements with the founders.  A third professor would teach about IP, and the students would draft IP licensing agreements.  And so on through a variety of possible scenarios.

I know that courses along somewhat similar lines have been around for a while, and others are being started now.  We are beginning to gather material on what other schools are doing along these lines.  Any pointers that anyone would like to provide would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.

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