Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Perspectives: Legal Research Teaching Materials from West

I've been subscribing for a few months to Perspectives, a free print newsletter published by Thomson West. Back issues are available online.

While the slant is obviously American, the issues are full of insights on how to teach legal research and writing skills, insights that can apply anywhere.

Each issues contains:
  • Feature articles
  • Brutal Choices in Curricular Design: "a regular feature of Perspectives, designed to explore the difficult curricular decisions that teachers of legal research and writing courses are often forced to make in light of the realities of limited budgets, time, personnel, and other resources." The Winter 2006 issue for example deals with "Designing Writing and Research Courses for International Students", many of whom will not have English as a first language
  • Writing Tips, longer pieces on the use of clear language and effective drafting
  • Writers' Toolbox, suggestions on how to teach specific writing skills
  • Teachable Moments for Students: "designed to provide information that can be used for quick and accessible answers to the basic questions that are frequently asked of librarians and those involved in teaching legal research and writing. These questions present a 'teachable moment', a brief window of opportunity when—because he or she has a specific need to know right now—the student or lawyer asking the question may actually remember the answer you provide."
  • Teachable Moments for Teachers: "a regular feature of Perspectives designed to give teachers an opportunity to describe a special moment of epiphany that changed their approach to presenting a particular topic to their students"
  • Legal Research and Writing Resources: "references to books, articles, bibliographies, and research guides that could potentially prove useful to both instructors and students and includes sources noted since the previous issue of Perspectives."

For an idea of what Perspectives contains, you can browse through the Index to Perspectives: Teaching Legal Research and Writing Volumes 1–13 (1992–2005).


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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:36 pm


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