Pioneering use of narrative method in a first-year law course to provide an authentic, inquiry-based entry into the discipline of law

Wolff, Leon (2012) Pioneering use of narrative method in a first-year law course to provide an authentic, inquiry-based entry into the discipline of law. In Wood, K., Knight, D., & Kinash, S. (Eds.) Scholarship of Teaching and Learning @ Bond. Bond University, Gold Coast, Qld, pp. 183-189.

Abstract

Law is saturated with stories. People tell their stories to lawyers; lawyers tell their client's stories to courts; and legislators develop regulation to respond to their constituent's stories of injustice or inequality. My approach to first-year legal education respects this narrative tradition. Both my curriculum design and assessment scheme in the compulsory first-year subject Australian Legal System deploy narrative methodology as the central teaching and learning device. Throughout the course, students work on resolving the problems of four hypothetical clients. Like a murder mystery, pieces of the puzzle come together as students learn more about legal institutions and the texts they produce, the process of legal research, the analysis and interpretation of primary legal sources, the steps in legal problem-solving, the genre conventions of legal writing style, the practical skills and ethical dimensions of professional practice, and critical inquiry into the normative underpinnings and impacts of the law. The assessment scheme mirrors this design. In their portfolio-based assignment, for example, students devise their own client profile, research the client's legal position and prepare a memorandum of advice.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 87803
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: Curriculum design, First-year experience, Legal education, Higher Education, HERN
ISBN: 9781922183026
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES (180000) > LAW (180100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Law
Deposited On: 28 Sep 2015 00:25
Last Modified: 16 Oct 2015 02:03

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