Teaching Contract Skills and Theory

The Brooklyn Law School Library New Books List for April 17, 2013 has 53 items including works on patent law, trial practice, constitutional law, same-sex marriage in Latin America, divorce settlements, wrongful convictions, and the right of privacy. BLS Faculty members can request a book by clicking on the “Faculty Book Request” tab in the SARA Catalog above the search box to submit a request. BLS Students can go to the open shelves to locate books and check them out at the circulation desk.

Because success in every law school course requires that students acquire and become expert at applying a set of skills that can be taught throughout the course, law professors and students may want to review David Nadvorney and Deborah Zalesne’s Teaching to Every Student: Explicitly Integrating Skills and Theory into the Contracts Class (Call #KF801.Z9 N337 2013). This guide aims to help professors modernize the curriculum and teach essential academic skills for case reading, note taking, and case briefing, as well as legal reasoning skills such as issue spotting and fact analysis, all within the curriculum of a first-year contracts course. The authors identify doctrinal units and the assigned cases that lend themselves to teaching each specific skill. Each chapter provides background on the role that each skill plays in legal analysis and its importance for law school exam writing, the bar exam, and practice. The chapter then suggests ways in which specific contracts cases can be used to teach that skill, and offers in-class and take-home writing exercises that include teaching notes. The book includes an entire section on teaching students to recognize different theoretical perspectives in judicial opinions and to notice the role of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation in judicial decision making. It includes an annotated sample syllabus, lesson plans, and a 35-page appendix of cases.