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Legal Profession

Legal Profession

Jennifer E Spreng

Publication Year

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Spirals And Schemas: How Integrated Law School Courses Create Higher-Order Thinkers And Problem Solvers, Jennifer Spreng Dec 2014

Spirals And Schemas: How Integrated Law School Courses Create Higher-Order Thinkers And Problem Solvers, Jennifer Spreng

Jennifer E Spreng

As legal educators continue to shift focus to preparing students for practice, they should put integrated first-year courses and curricula into the top tier of potential reform vehicles. Integration refers to the extent to which a course or curriculum blurs disciplinary boundaries as well as boundaries between doctrine and authentic learning activities. Integrated courses promote active, deep learning that facilitate orderly knowledge construction and reveal more connections between vital legal concepts. The authenticity of integrated courses improves students’ retention and transfer of knowledge. Such accessible, interconnected knowledge in such a vital learning environment is like intellectual rocket fuel to law …


Suppose The Class Began The Day The Case Walked In The Door . . ., Jennifer Spreng Dec 2014

Suppose The Class Began The Day The Case Walked In The Door . . ., Jennifer Spreng

Jennifer E Spreng

Problem-solving is the manifestation of a lawyer’s expertise. Unfortunately, the first year of law school is too highly compartmentalized and often semi-rote-learning experience that does not disturb what are many students’ passive undergraduate school learning strategies. Once taught the same way in law school, students are unlikely to develop the more intellectually sophisticated, relational learning strategies to make the cross-topical and cross-disciplinary connections of which problem-solving expertise is made.

This article argues that horizontally and vertically integrated first-year courses with spiral designs that prioritize honing students’ analytical and problem-solving capacities can break this cycle and prepare students with more self-directed …


It’S All About The People: Hierarchy, Networks, And Teaching Assistants In A Civil Procedure Classroom Community, Jennifer E. Spreng Dec 2012

It’S All About The People: Hierarchy, Networks, And Teaching Assistants In A Civil Procedure Classroom Community, Jennifer E. Spreng

Jennifer E Spreng

This article provides a blueprint for a “civic community in a law school classroom” that would better prepare many students for what is likely to be their professional future based on natural social hierarchy and network dynamics. It uses experiences from the author's own teaching career to illustrate hierarchy and network dynamics and how to use them to enrich the pedagogical and social experience of a first year course. It also roots those experiences in principles from social psychology, organizational behavior, transformative leadership and all levels of education literature.

Modern law school classrooms fall into two categories: the "polar model" …


It's All About The People: Creating A "Community Of Memory" In Civil Procedure Ii, Part One, Jennifer E. Spreng Dec 2009

It's All About The People: Creating A "Community Of Memory" In Civil Procedure Ii, Part One, Jennifer E. Spreng

Jennifer E Spreng

In Fall 2008, a nascent classroom community emerged among my Civil Procedure students, teaching assistants and I. That term’s adventure eventually became the vital “past” for the fully formed community that would knit students of future classes together as one.

The genesis of this early classroom community was my ideal of “the good lawyer” as the small-firm or small-jurisdiction practitioner I had known as a seven-year solo practitioner in a town of 50,000 people. That ideal was a combination of “the rhythms of the law” that run throughout the specialties; a more respectful and less stratified model of professionalism, and …