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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Switching Books

First, by way of introduction, I am an associate professor at Barry University Dwayne O. Andreas School of Law in Orlando, and I teach Torts, Business Organizations, Health Care Law, and several Health Care Law Related Seminars.  I write about topics at the intersection of science and the law, most recently in areas related to contraception in the Affordable Care Act, egg freezing, surrogacy, and prenatal testing  ( SSRN author link here).  I hope to write about some of the new issues cropping up in these areas over the next few weeks.

As most you can empathize, the beginning of the semester is extremely busy.  I am chairing our Appointments Committee again this year--but the other reason for the hecticness is because I decided to switch my Torts and Business Organizations books this fall.  This is my sixth year of teaching Torts and this is the third Torts book I have used (I switched to Farnsworth and Grady).  This is my fifth year of teaching Business Organizations and this is the first time I have switched books (I am now using Smith and Williams).  Of course, my grand plan was to prep the entire semester for both courses over the summer--and big shocker, that did not happen.

Many colleagues warned me about the time suck of switching books and how much work it would be, and they were right.  BUT I am loving the new books I am using--and it has made the material fresher and more interesting to me (and hopefully--as a result to my students). (By the way, I have no affiliation with either book or authors but I am enjoying teaching from them very much--and I know there are a lot of other excellent Torts and Business Organizations books out there as well)    As someone who had gotten used to my old material, switching books has also allowed me to try out new teaching methods--especially incorporating many more problems into each class--to which the students seem to be responding really well.  The new books are forcing me to be  a student again-- I am rediscovering the material and it has been great.  Don't get me wrong--if you find me up at midnight preparing for class, I am not always this positive. Some of my colleagues -(like Dan O' Gorman--perennial Professor of the Year at Barry and Fred Jonassen -who have similarly been unhappy with the books they were using) have written their own self published Contracts books that they, of course, love (and they are shopping it to publishers by the way)  --but for those Prawfs who lack the time and/or motivation to do that--and don't completely adore their textbooks, I think the effort to review some examination copies of new textbooks - to see if something really fits one's teaching style and law school's student body better-is totally worth it.     Now back to prepping for class...

Posted by Seema Mohapatra on September 3, 2014 at 07:55 PM in Books, Teaching Law | Permalink

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