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Book Review

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Experiential learning, Workplace law

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Sturm College of Law, Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System


There is an exciting movement toward practical legal education in U.S. law schools. There are many good reasons for this movement, including demand from students and potential students, as well as demand from the employers and clients that will hire those students. Additionally, a plethora of compelling studies strongly suggest that adults learn best through practical, contextual, experiential education.

Yet, many professors in U.S. law schools continue to teach using more traditional methods. There are a number of reasons for this. Perhaps the most widespread reason why professors hesitate to engage in experiential, or problem-based, teaching is the amount of work required to teach this way. The workload in developing and executing experiential courses has proved to be one of the major barriers to the expansion of this exciting type of education.

Fortunately for us in the field of workplace law, Rachel Arnow-Richman and Nantiya Ruan have just eliminated a tremendous amount of that work. Over several iterations, they developed a first-rate experiential course in this field. And they are willing to share their work, so that we do not have to reinvent this well-designed wheel. The result is their forthcoming book (due for release in the next week or so), Developing Professional Skills: Workplace Law.

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