The Fall 2006 issue of Perspectives (this latest issue was not posted on the website at the time of writing this note) contains two articles with a refreshing approach to legal writing instruction: “Homer Simpson Meets the Rule Against Perpetuities: The Controversial Use of Pop Culture in Legal Writing Pedagogy” (Louis N. Schulze Jr.) and “Using DVD Covers to Teach Weight of Authority” (Michael J. Higdon).
While I have spent many hours thinking about effective legal research and writing training, it was not until I picked up this newsletter that I was reminded of one of the keys to learning (at least according to some of my 12 year old son’s teachers). He is often asked to make “connections” between the subject matter he is learning and his own life. It has been many years since I attended law school – while I know we had complaints about our legal research and writing courses, I don’t think this was our issue. I don’t remember having any expectations about the “relevance” of the course material to my life.
It strikes me that the current generation of students does see life differently (no big surprise there). When it’s time to prepare training material for the 2007 students, a trip through current cultural landmarks (TV, movie, music, even youtube I suppose) may be even more fun for the teacher!