Paul L. Caron

Monday, October 22, 2007

Ann Althouse's Advice for Erwin Chemerinsky: Structure Law School Like a Video Game

Ann Althouse (Wisconsin) offers her thoughts on our series on the single best idea for reforming legal education for Erwin Chemerinsky as he builds the law school at UC-Irvine:

Set the whole thing up according to the principles of a video game.

I'm not kidding. When I went to law school, I did not know what the hell I was doing. I was undereducated — having majored in painting undergrad. I had a rebellious, alienated attitude and had no friends or family who had gone through the experience who could give me any sort of advice. Somehow, I hit upon the device of thinking of law school as an "athletic contest." I devised a set of rules and imagined myself to be playing a game. I didn't do this because I was very competitive. I considered myself an artist. (I still do.) I did it because I thought everyone else was competitive, and I'd be overwhelmed by them. My conception of the experience as a game gave me pleasure, serenity, motivation — and success.

But imagine a law school where the whole thing was openly structured as an elegant game, designed to absorb and hold everyone's attention and to yield motivating rewards along the way.

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It sounds like a good idea until you receive your first choose-your-own-adventure final exam that has only one right answer.

Posted by: Apep | Oct 22, 2007 6:05:23 PM