Jamie R. Abrams, University of Louisville, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law: “The Socratic Method, Revisited”

Jamie R. Abrams is an Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law. She presented within the Active Learning Pod of the 2014 Igniting Law Teaching conference about the idea of overhauling the Socratic Method. She explains that the Socratic Method remains central to law classrooms, and while it has been increasingly supplemented with clinics, skills integrations, and community based learning, there has been little focus on modernizing the Socratic Method itself. Her talk describes a revamped Socratic method in which law teachers use a client-centered, case management-based, and researched oriented approach within the Socratic tradition. This reframing would better align the Socratic dialogue with broader curricular reforms and provide more practice-ready schema to doctrinal courses, while involving minimal structural or content changes. 

In February of 2015, Professor Abrams published Reframing the Socratic Method, which is based on the talk above. 

Professor Abrams teaches Torts, Family Law, Legislation, and Women and the Laws. Her scholarly research focuses on legal education pedagogy; integrating masculinities theory in feminist law reforms; torn standards of care in childbirth; and gendered citizenship. She published A Synergistic Pedagogical Approach to First-Year Teaching in the Duquesne Law Review and has given numerous presentations on innovation in teaching techniques.

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.