June 10, 2011
Contracts Roundtable: More on simulations, and on preventing osmosis
Posted by Claire Hill

I haven't taught contracts for a few years, but I hope, when I do so again, to do something along the lines that have been discussed in this Forum. I envision refashioning the course so that it has much less doctrine, some (simple) theory, and some simulation. (I have taught advanced transactional courses along these lines, with considerable simulation and some theory.) I think contracts students don't need as much doctrine as the traditional course gives them (except for the bar-- and they can get that in the bar review.) I think law school is a terrific place to get students to intuit theory from experiences of their own ('if you were buying a car, what would you worry about, and why' to 'what sorts of things potentially benefit sellers at the expense of buyers.') Indeed, by theory, all I mean is a way to understand what parties might worry about and try to deal with in contract documents. I know this was needed when I went to law school and started practice, admittedly quite a long time ago; I am told by law firm partners that many new associates are still trying to learn by osmosis, figuring out 'what contracting parties typically do' rather than starting with 'what the parties might be trying to do.' I think it would be great to do simulations involving both subject matters that may be more familiar to students, and subject matters that seem far less familiar, like buying a company. In my experience, students sometimes take more to heart the 'we will teach you to think' 'legal reasoning is a new and different skill, one you didn't have before' mantras than is good for them. They may never have bought a business before, but stepping back and considering how it compares to things that have done can get them a certain ways, I think, and build much-needed confidence.

One thing I've seen somebody else do that I thought worked quite well: students were given the broad outlines of a deal a "client" was interested in. The "client" came to class, and the students interviewed him, asking him specifics about the deal as he envisioned it, and asking him his view about various issues they saw in what he said or what they knew of the deal.

Contracts, Roundtable: Contracts, Teaching | Bookmark

TrackBacks (0)

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Links to weblogs that reference Contracts Roundtable: More on simulations, and on preventing osmosis:

Recent Comments
Popular Threads
Search The Glom
The Glom on Twitter
Archives by Topic
Archives by Date
January 2019
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31    
Miscellaneous Links