Debora Threedy, University of Utah, “Flipping Contracts: The Making of the Videos”

Debora Threedy has been a law professor for nearly thirty years, and for the first time is actually optimistic that fundamental change in legal education is possible. Her presentation for the 2014 Igniting Law Teaching conference, “Flipping Contracts: The Making of the Videos,” was part of the Flipping Law School Course Pod in the conference. Threedy explains that “flipping” a class involves moving the knowledge transfer online, so that class time is then used to practice solving problems. The online materials for students include short videos on basic doctrine and online quizzes for assessment. Her presentation focuses on how to produce these kinds of videos, the nuts-and-bolts of production, which includes suggestions for writing scripts, designing the visuals, and combining the two into a finished video. She and co-author Aaron Dewald have now published an article based on her presentation, "Re-conceptualizing Doctrinal Classes: Blending Online Doctrinal Coverage with In-Class Problem Solving", which is forthcoming in the Journal of Legal Education.

Professor Threedy is the co-director for the Center for Innovation in Legal Education at the University of Utah. In the past she has served as both the Acting Dean and Associate Dean, and was honored in 2000 with the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award. Threedy currently teaches Contracts, Drafting Contracts, Law and Literature, and Legal Issues in Archaeology. She has a series of videos on Contracts that she contributed to LegalED that can be found here: She is a huge proponent of interdisciplinarity and is currently planning a class that will combine law and acting. If you do not find her in the classroom, you may find Professor Threedy writing a play, as she is also an award winning playwright. A one-act play that she wrote about eugenics, which can be found at 81 UMKC Law Rev. 791(2013), was given a staged reading by the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law in a symposium to lead off a discussion of reproductive rights.

LegalED aims to harness the power of the internet for legal educations. It facilitates blended or flipped learning – by migrating lectures to the web, LegalED frees up classtime for active learning that challenges students to learn the essential lawyering competencies while they are in law school. Professors may assign the videos in any combination for students to view outside of the classroom for active learning that challenges students to learn the essential lawyering competencies while they are in law school. LegalED seeks to develop and maintain a vibrant online community of teachers and students of the law, creating a central hub for the community. Through the video collection, teachers can be inspired to borrow, adapt, and bring great teaching moments into their own courses. With an internet platform, LegalED opens up formerly isolated classrooms by sharing showcasing, celebrating and inspiring innovative teaching. Simply put, the vision of LegalED is to inspire innovation in legal education. Join the movement!

The LegalED 2015 Igniting Law Teaching conference will take place on Friday, March 20th, from 9am to 6pm. Register to attend in person or live stream the event.