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The Future Of Legal Education Conference, Feb 2008


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Basically a recap of GGSL SIMPLE transactional approach, but with the addition of Liz Li's qualitative research with trainees and newly-qualified lawyers on the experience of the GGSL DLP, and particularly the transactions.

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The Future Of Legal Education Conference, Feb 2008

  1. 1. Simulation, technology, professionalism: transforming the student experience Liz Li Georgia State U. College of Law Paul Maharg Glasgow Graduate School of Law
  2. 2. overview <ul><li>The scope of implementation at GGSL </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Personal Injury Negotiation transaction </li></ul><ul><li>The student experience </li></ul><ul><li>Shift in staff roles </li></ul><ul><li>Further information </li></ul>
  3. 3. simulations in legal learning… <ul><li>Are close to the world of practice , but safe from the (possible) realities of malpractice and negligent representation. </li></ul><ul><li>Enable students to practise legal transactions , discuss the transactions with other tutors, students, and use a variety of instruments or tools, online or textual, to help them understand the nature and consequences of their actions </li></ul><ul><li>Facilitate a wide variety of assessment , from high-stakes assignments with automatic fail points, to coursework that can double as a learning zone and an assessment assignment </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage collaborative learning . The guilds and groups of hunters in multi-player online games can be replicated for quite different purposes in legal education. </li></ul><ul><li>Students begin to see the potential for the C in ICT ; and that technology is not merely a matter of word-processed essays & quizzes, but a form of learning that changes quite fundamentally what and how they learn . </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>scope of the implementation </li></ul>
  5. 18. personal injury negotiation project <ul><li>Administration: </li></ul><ul><li>272 students, 68 firms, 7 anonymous information sources </li></ul><ul><li>68 document sets, 34 transactions – students represent claimant (injured at work) or defender (insurance company) </li></ul><ul><li>students have 12 weeks to achieve settlement </li></ul><ul><li>introductory & feedback lectures </li></ul><ul><li>discussion forums </li></ul><ul><li>FAQs & transaction guideline flowcharts </li></ul><ul><li>voluntary face-to-face surgeries with a PI solicitor </li></ul>
  6. 19. PI project: assessment criteria <ul><li>We require from each student firm a body of evidence consisting of: </li></ul><ul><li>fact-finding – from information sources in the virtual community) </li></ul><ul><li>professional legal research – using WestLaw + paperworld sources </li></ul><ul><li>formation of negotiation strategy – extending range of Foundation Course learning </li></ul><ul><li>performance of strategy – correspondence + optional f2f meeting, recorded </li></ul>
  7. 23. statistics
  8. 24. statistics
  9. 25. statistics
  10. 26. PI project: (some of) what students learned <ul><li>extended team working </li></ul><ul><li>real legal fact-finding </li></ul><ul><li>real legal research </li></ul><ul><li>process thinking in the project </li></ul><ul><li>setting out negotiation strategies in the context of (un)known information </li></ul><ul><li>writing to specific audiences </li></ul><ul><li>handling project alongside other work commitments </li></ul><ul><li>structuring the argument of a case from start to finish </li></ul><ul><li>keeping cool in face-to-face negotiations </li></ul><ul><li>more effective delegation </li></ul><ul><li>keeping files </li></ul><ul><li>taking notes on the process... </li></ul>
  11. 27. PI project: what students would have done differently… <ul><li>‘ In tackling this project I think that our group made two main mistakes. The first mistake we made was in approaching the task as law students as opposed to Lawyers. By this I mean we tried to find the answer and work our way back. Immediately we were thinking about claims and quantum and blame. I don't think we actually initiated a claim until a week before the final settlement. I think the phrase &quot;like a bull in a china shop&quot; would aptly describe the way we approached the problem. […] Our group knew what area of law and tests to apply yet we ended up often being ahead of ourselves and having to back-pedal </li></ul><ul><li>The second mistake we made was estimating how long it would take to gather information. We started our project quite late on and began to run out of time towards the end. None of us appreciated the length of time it would take to gather information and on top of this we would often have to write two or three letters to the same person as the initial letter would not ask the right question.’ </li></ul>
  12. 28. PI project: what students would have done differently… <ul><li>‘ At the beginning we thought we perhaps lost sight of the fact that we had a client whom we had a duty to advise and inform. On reflection we should have issued terms of engagement and advised the client better in monetary terms what the likely outcome was going to be.’ </li></ul><ul><li>‘ […] unlike other group projects I was involved in at undergraduate level I feel that I derived genuine benefit from this exercise in several ways: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1. reinforcing letter-writing, negotiation, time-management and IT skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2. conducting legal research into issues of quantum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>working effectively in a group as a group - not delegating tasks at the first meeting and then putting together pieces of work at the second meeting.’ </li></ul></ul>
  13. 29. <ul><li>Extracts from recent student feedback... </li></ul>
  14. 30. <ul><li>Participant A </li></ul><ul><li>GGSL could not have replicated the workplace any better than they did in Personal Injury and Conveyancing projects </li></ul><ul><li>I liked the practical group exercises used in Personal Injury and Conveyancing. They were 100% simulations and felt real and live. </li></ul><ul><li>The digital environment was helpful. It highlighted important aspects of the workplace, such as corresponding by letter, getting assignments by email, needing quick turnaround </li></ul>
  15. 31. <ul><li>Participant B </li></ul><ul><li>After your LLB, were you prepared for your traineeship? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Did Diploma help to prepare you? </li></ul><ul><li>Yes. It even helped with [job] interviews, because I could see why firms were asking me to do the tasks, letter-writing, etc […] these were the same tasks I was doing in my Diploma subjects </li></ul><ul><li>Any particularly helpful aspect? </li></ul><ul><li>Practice Management. Trainees had to keep log books and timebooks. This was totally new to me. </li></ul>
  16. 32. <ul><li>Participant B (cont) </li></ul><ul><li>Any way Diploma could have been better preparation? </li></ul><ul><li>Not really. There is so much material to get through and not much time . There is only time to cover the basics . But there was some wasted time and I think the Diploma could be condensed into a smaller time period </li></ul><ul><li>Plus, every firm is different anyway. </li></ul><ul><li>Any particular subject/skill you think the GGSL taught well? </li></ul><ul><li>Client Interviewing & Negotiation, face-to-face and video-taped. Gave a framework to use in the future. </li></ul>
  17. 33. <ul><li>Participant B (co nt) </li></ul><ul><li>Anything else? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Online simulations are a great way to learn. Brought up issues I wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 34. <ul><li>Participant C </li></ul><ul><li>The PI project was brilliant and was exactly analogous to real life. </li></ul><ul><li>The best take-away from the Diploma is correspondence – getting used to the idea of corresponding through letters </li></ul>
  19. 35. <ul><li>Participant D </li></ul><ul><li>The LLB and the Diploma are like chalk and cheese. The LLB focuses on the why of law; the Diploma focuses on the how. These are very different and it takes some adjustment to move from one to the next. </li></ul><ul><li>The Diploma was a good preparation for work-life </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learned to rely on other people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learned how to work with other people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learned to manage expectations of other people </li></ul></ul>
  20. 36. portrait of the teacher as designer <ul><li>Shift in traditional role of staff as centre of the knowledge web </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge and skills are distributed across webs </li></ul><ul><li>Staff spend more time designing online learning with tutors, postgrad assistants, trainees, student monitors, ie design work using… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>simulations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>just-in-time learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>salon & masterclass models of group learning </li></ul></ul><ul><li>… over whole programmes of study. </li></ul><ul><li>Within and between disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>Within and between institutions internationally </li></ul>
  21. 37. the SIMPLE community of practice <ul><li>Qualities of the CoP – </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative , between staff and students at different institutions, in different professions, eg: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>On-line repository of blueprints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Second-wave partners working with each other </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Interdisciplinary – education, law, technology, medical ed., architecture, business, music, literature ... </li></ul><ul><li>International – in our increasingly globalized jurisdictions we need to enable our students to work with others </li></ul><ul><li>Development of experiential approaches that can transform legal education </li></ul>
  22. 38. further information <ul><ul><li>Blog : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slideshare : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SSRN : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Book : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SIMPLE: </li></ul></ul>