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Friday, August 03, 2018

Teaching Creativity in Law School

9781531002299@2xOn the continued subject of law teaching (and one close to my heart in light of my far less practical musings on the subject of "aha moments" in lawyering and the likely differences between human- and robot-lawyers), my colleagues, Kathy Vinson, Samantha Moppett, and Shailini George of Suffolk's acclaimed Legal Practice Skills Program, have just published Mindful Lawyering: The Key to Creative Problem Solving (Carolina Academic Press, 2018).

The introduction and table of contents are available on SSRN.  It's all about how not to be a robot. Here's a taste:

What will you do when a client comes to you with a problem? Will you be ready? What approach will you take to solve it? Is knowledge of the law enough to prepare you to practice? Are you mindful? Are you creative?

Experts agree law students and lawyers need to be mindful and creative problem solvers. Many factors have coalesced to make these skills critical to the success of today’s law students and lawyers such as: critiques of the traditional law school format along with curriculum changes mandated by the American Bar Association (“ABA”), the downturn in the legal market and in the changing demographics of incoming law students, and dissatisfaction among employers in their recruits’ ability to solve problems independently and creatively, to name only a few.

Despite the importance of mindfulness, creativity, and problem solving to the practice of law, traditional law school courses or textbooks do not explicitly cover these topics. This book is intended to help you practice mindful lawyering, beginning in law school, to maximize your ability to creatively solve clients’ problems. It discusses the skills and qualities needed to succeed in law school and in practice to successfully serve clients. It will also enhance your ability to understand and retain the legal doctrine you learn in law school.

The introduction to this book in Part I provides an overview of the scope of the book and its learning objectives and outcomes. It provides a path for your journey to becoming a mindful and creative problem solver. Part II provides the scientific basis and need for mindfulness, and encourages you to embrace your law school experience mindfully. Part III explores what it means to be a creative problem solver, why creativity is important, and how to maximize your creative potential. Part IV explains the different stages of problem solving law students and lawyers can utilize to maximize their potential for success and why lawyers need to be problem solvers. Finally, Part V synthesizes mindfulness, creativity, and problem solving, including a capstone exercise to apply the concepts learned in the book; checklists to utilize; and additional resources you can consult for more information. The book’s organization into these different parts allows flexibility of use according to your needs.

Also, you can't beat the price: $25.

Posted by Jeff Lipshaw on August 3, 2018 at 09:10 AM | Permalink

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