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Friday, November 18, 2011

Sing it, brother

Mark Kleiman speaks truth--just substitute "JD" or "LLM" or "SJD" for Ph.D." Although, as I said, this appeared to be in decline for job talks this year.

Earlier this month I attended a panel of non-legal academics, including a talk by a natural scientist (he was an ecologist or something along those lines), who was talking about the effects of climate change on animals who affect glacial lands (e.g., animals that burrow, animals that trample land, etc.). He had some great slides of photographs, maps, charts, etc., all of which were helpful and necessary to understanding his talk. But he also included the text of his talk on each slide and read it (then occasionally elaborating extemporaneously). It just seemed unnecessary.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on November 18, 2011 at 09:35 AM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink


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All good points. Especially if the presenter does not add anything to the text on the slide.

But there are other uses for the slides. For example, I often keep powerpoints from presentations, especially if it is not in my primary field, as it is nice to have the key propositions in the presentation as a reminder of the talk (I am unlikely to re-read an article that is not in my field). If one uses powerpoints in the classroom and the presentation is a job talk, where in part the faculty is evaluating your potential as an instructor, I think truth in advertising weighs in favor of powerpoints. The faculty should get an authentic sense of your teaching style.

All that said, merely reading powerpoint text is a crummy class, a crummy workshop and a crummy job talk.

Posted by: Lou Mulligan | Nov 18, 2011 10:29:43 AM

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