December 16, 2011
NY Times Debate: Should Law Schools Use the Socratic Method?
New York Times, Room for Debate: Rethinking How the Law Is Taught:
A recent Times editorial called for changes to legal education. It argued for “apprentice-style learning” and “more courses that train students” for roles as “advocates and counselors, negotiators and deal-shapers, and problem-solvers” instead of a curriculum where professors grill “students about appellate cases.”
Does the Socratic method still have a role in law school?
- Guy-Uriel Charles (Duke), Defining What’s Socratic
- Robert D. Dinerstein (American), Limitations to the Method
- Amanda C. Pustilnik (Maryland), It Keeps the Student Thinking
- Robin West (Georgetown), A Teaching Style of the Past
- David Wilkins (Harvard), Keep the Method, Not the Focus
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Personally, having experienced and enjoyed both, I think there is a place for both. Socratic method is very good training for oral advocacy, but there is no substitute for more real-life training. So why make it an either/or proposition?
Posted by: JGiven | Dec 16, 2011 5:51:17 PM