ILT 2015 

Law Teaching in the 21st Century

Featuring: Warren Binford, Susan Brooks, Jay Finkelstein, Shaun Jamison, Susan Nevelow Mart, Emmeline Reeves, Jennifer Spreng, Craig Forcese

Warren Binford

Talk Title: How to Be the World’s Best Law Student


Talk Summary: Do you know how to learn effectively and efficiently? Many people think they do, but they are mistaken. This talk highlights the most recent pedagogical research on how we learn and challenges law students to engage learning strategies that work, while encouraging them to also take simple steps to maintain brain health.


Warren Binford is associate professor of law and director of the clinical law program at Willamette University College of Law. She holds a B.A., summa cum laude with distinction, and an Ed.M. from Boston University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. In 2012, she was selected as a Fulbright Scholar in South Africa and in 2015, she was selected as an inaugural chairholder of the Fulbright Distinguished Visiting Research Chair in Brain Science and Family Wellness in Canada.

Susan Brooks

Talk Title: Forming Resilient Lawyers

Talk Summary: Resilience, the ability to bounce back from adversity, has been recognized as a core competency in a number of educational contexts.  This talk will make the case that law students, too, need to cultivate habits of resilience as an essential part of their professional identity formation, particularly in light of recent developments in the legal marketplace.  It will then outline fundamental habits of resilience that law teachers can help students to practice, in part by modeling them in the classroom and in other interactions.

Susan Brooks is the Associate Dean for Experiential Learning and a Professor of Law at the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law. She oversees all of the experiential and public service aspects of the curriculum, and teaches seminars on reflection and communication, as well as Family Law. Dean Brooks previously directed a legal clinic at Vanderbilt Law School for many years.  She holds a BA and MA in social work from the University of Chicago, and a JD from NYU.  She has led workshops on communication and resilience for law students, faculty, and the practicing bar in Philadelphia, New York, Florida, Thailand, Australia, and Ireland.

Jay Finkelstein 

Talk Title: Putting it Together: School by School

Talk Summary:

The talk will examine the means of promoting and expanding the adoption of innovative pedagogy, using the multiple adoptions of the International Business Negotiations class as a case study.

Jay, partner at DLA Piper LLP (US), has practiced corporate and securities law for over 30 years, focusing on international and domestic negotiated transactions, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, securities offerings, corporate structuring, strategic contractual relationships, and general corporate law.  His practice has involved matters in a wide variety of industries, including defense, hospitality, financial services, real estate, franchised businesses and high-tech and emerging growth enterprises. He also represents numerous nonprofit organizations. He works closely with DLA lawyers in international offices throughout the world to coordinate the delivery of legal services for international transactional matters.

Mr. Finkelstein is a member of the adjunct faculties at Stanford, Berkeley, Georgetown and American University and has been teaching international business negotiations since 2003.  He has been a guest professor at Addis Ababa University Law School (Ethiopia), Emanuel Kant Baltic Federal University (Kaliningrad), and IDC (Israel), and has conducted numerous trainings for government lawyers throughout East Africa.  He is the co-author (with Prof. Daniel Bradlow) of "Training Law Students to be International Transactional Lawyers – Using an Extended Simulation to Educate Law Students about Business Transactions," Pepperdine Journal of Business, Entrepreneurship and the Law, 2007.  He is also the co-author (with Prof. Daniel Bradlow) of the textbook, Negotiating Business Transactions:  An Extended Simulation Course (Wolters Kluwer, Aspen Coursebook series, 2013). Mr. Finkelstein speaks frequently on transactional law topics at seminars and for continuing legal education programs. Mr. Finkelstein is a graduate of Princeton Unversity (A.B., 1975, magna cum laude) and Harvard Law School (J.D., 1978, magna cum laude).  

Shaun Jamison

Talk Title: Get Out of the Way: Students Preparing Themselves for a Law Practice Future

Talk Summary:

In this dynamic and challenging legal environment, how can legal educators prepare their graduates for the practice of law? BY the time you have taught them core laywering skills and core subjects, it can be a struggle to fit in everything one might feel it would take to adequately prepare a new lawyer for practice. Professor Jamison created the Future of Law Practice course to address these challenges. In his talk he will outline the structure of the course, the choices made, and the lessons learned from the first run of the course.

Shaun Jamison is Professor & Assistant Dean of Information Services for Concord Law School of Kaplan University. In addition to teaching his “Future of Law Practice” course, now in its second offering, he has played an instrumental role in the Minnesota State Bar Association’s ongoing cooperative effort with the Minnesota CLE Board to change the CLE rules to allow law office management credits to be treated as standard credits, and he serves on the Challenges to Practice of Law task force for the MSBA. Most recently, he co-authored an article on “Law and Technology: No longer Optional Partners” in the Legal Technology Special, CIO Review (December, 2014). He also authored Continuing Legal Education a Year in Review: Analysis and Recommendations (March 15, 2014). Available at SSRN: Professor Jamison, @shaunjamison, is listed on Law Street Media’s 300 Top Voices in Law & Policy -  Law Schools and Firms;  100 Professors You Should Follow and Learn From on Twitter;  Top 100 Academic Twitter Feeds; and Top 50 Law Professors on Twitter. In 2011 he was interviewed in Give Practice Change Careful Thought, (2011).

Susan Nevelow Mart

Talk Title: Are your Students 21st Century Researchers?

Talk Summary: What skills do students need to navigate our quickly changing legal landscape? Do you think your students have those skills? If you look at briefs that have actually be filed, is the research any good? Does the research affect client outcomes? The answers to these questions illustrate the minimum competencies we need to teach our students, so that, no matter what their level of access to  legal resources, they can fairly represent their clients.

Susan Nevelow Mart is an Associate Professor and Director of the Law Library at the University of Colorado Boulder School of Law. Her scholarly and teaching interests center on the intersection of law librarianship and legal information. She has written and presented nationally and locally on legal information policy, national security and libraries, access to information, computer information retrieval systems, and legal research pedagogy. Professor Mart holds an M.L.I.S. from San Jose State University, a J.D. from Boalt Hall at the University of California at Berkeley, and a B.A. from the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Jennifer Spreng

Talk Title: "Suppose the Class Began the Day the Case Walked in the Door:  Integrating First-Year Courses."

Talk Summary: Integrating First Year Courses - Welcome to Introduction to Civil Litigation, an innovative ten-credit, first-year sequence integrating torts, civil procedure and a year-long simulated drug product liability case! This presentation will introduce horizontal and vertical integration of first year courses. Integrated courses blur doctrinal boundaries and the doctrine-and-skills divide and serve many goals of legal education reform: higher-order thinking; active, self-regulated learning; better preparation for experiential programs; and more efficient doctrinal coverage. The presenation will whet the whistles of those considering curricular changes and suggest more modest but pedagogically exciting formsof integration to others.

Jennifer Spreng was an eight-year solo- and small-firm practitioner in Owensboro, Kentucky before joining the ASLS faculty, so she knows what law school graduates will eventually say “I wish I had learned in law school.”  At ASLS, she has been a leader in curriculum reform and innovative teaching, with a practice-oriented focus.  She has also written multiple articles and papers about legal education.  She teaches Bankruptcy, Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Issues in Legal Education and the Practice of Law, and of course, Introduction to Civil Litigation.

Emmeline Reeves

Talk Title: Flipping Bar Prep

Talk Summary:

With law school applications declining, new law student credentials slipping, and bar passages rates plummeting in many states, most law schools are now insourcing bar prep to some extent. This talk addresses how to incorporate one of the latest teaching innovations - the flipped classroom - into the delivery of bar exam support services.


Emmeline Paulette Reeves is an associate professor for academic success at the University of Richmond School of Law. She designed and implemented Richmond’s academic support and bar exam support programs. Professor Reeves co-authored an article, entitled Cool Data on a Hot Issue: Empirical Evidence that a Law School Bar Support Program Enhances Bar Performance, which presents statistical analyses supporting the conclusion that a bar support program can significantly improve bar passage rates.

Craig Forcese

Talk Title: Deploying Experts in a Flipped Classroom: Active Use of a Passive Learning Resource

Talk Summary

"Experiential" learning is all the rage in law schools.  But experiential learning requires, well, people with experience.  How can a professor whose days in private practice may be long ago, or never ago, lead effective experiential classes?  In this talk, I discuss my experiments with the "virtual expert" -- using technology to weave expertise above and beyond my own into the "active learning" classroom, in a manner that minimizes the traditional disadvantages of the "guest speaker".

Craig Forcese is an associate professor of law, University of Ottawa, Canada.  There, he has been experimenting with alternative forms of legal pedagogy, including "flipped" teaching.