Fall 2022 Symposium
The Fall 2022 Symposium, Leaving Langdell Behind: Reimagining Legal Education for a New Era was held on Friday, October 7, in-person at Walter F. Mondale Hall. The entire event was streamed live, and videos of each panel can be found in a YouTube playlist here.
The schedule and speakers is available here.
For those that are interested in obtaining CLE credit for attending the symposium, the Minnesota Board of Continuing Legal Education has approved the event for a total of 6.75 credits. Registration and in-person attendance are required in order to be eligible for CLE credit.
Please contact the Symposium Articles Editor, Joshua Gutzmann, at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions.
Friday, October 7, 2022 from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
Walter F. Mondale Hall, 229 S 19th Street, Minneapolis
8:30 AM Opening Remarks
Dean Garry Jenkins (University of Minnesota Law School), Leah Reiss (Editor-in-Chief of the Minnesota Law Review), and Joshua Gutzmann (Symposium Articles Editor of the Minnesota Law Review).
8:50 AM Keynote Address by Judith Gundersen, NCBE President
Judith Gundersen is the president of the National Conference of Bar Examiners and has been with the Conference since 2000, where she also served as the Director of Test Operations and Program Director for the Multistate Essay Examination and the Multistate Performance Test. Prior to joining NCBE, Gundersen worked at the Madison, WI, office of the law firm Foley & Lardner LLP before becoming an assistant district attorney in the Dane County District Attorney’s Office in Madison, where she worked for 10 years. She obtained her BA from the BA from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and her JD from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
9:30 AM Equitable Admissions Presentations
Dean Anthony Niedwiecki, Mitchell Hamline Law
Associate Dean Natalie Rodriguez, Southwestern Law
Vice Dean Anahid Gharakhanian, Southwestern Law
Dr. Elizabeth Anderson, Wisdom Resource Grp. LLC & IAALS
10:45 AM Redesigining the Law School Curriculum
Moderated by Professor Jon Lee, Oklahoma Law
Professor Susan McMahon, Arizona Law
Professor Bennett Capers, Fordham Law
Professor Robert Kuehn, Washington University in St. Louis Law
12:00 PM Lunch Break
1:00 PM Legal Pedagogy Workshops (choose one of three options)
The Symposium will offer several options for short breakout sessions in which professors will share their innovative teaching methods. Attendees will have the opportunity to choose which methods interest them the most and learn about small practical adjustments they can make in their teaching.
Room 15: Student Created Assessment Techniques as a Formative Learning Tool — Professor Sandra Simpson
This presentation will teach doctrinal (and skills) professors how to involve their students in creating assessment rubrics, multiple-choice questions, and practice essay questions. The workshop will provide professors with a “how-to” manual detailing the steps needed to involve their students in creating different types of classroom assessments. When students are involved in creating these assessments, they learn the subject deeply, developing a common language with the professor. This deep learning not only helps prepare them for their upcoming exams, but it also helps the learning to “stick” in their long-term memory. What is more, the students start to understand the complexity of the law and how they will be assessed on that complexity. These methods of involving the students are done during class time, increasing student engagement and active learning in the classroom. During the process the professor will get feedback on what the students are learning or struggling with, and students will get feedback on what they know and what they need more practice with.
Room 50: Individualized Feedback for 1Ls — Professor Daniel Schwarcz
Providing formative feedback to law students on their writing is essential to training skilled lawyers, improving law student morale, and empowering first-generation law students to succeed. Yet most law professors continue to provide little, if any, such
feedback to students because of the perceived time and effort that doing so requires. In this session, I will review both the evidence regarding the benefits of individualized feedback, as well as methods for providing a robust program of individualized feedback to first-year law students that requires only a moderate amount of time and energy from law professors. Key strategies include (i) incorporating a professor- graded mid-term into first-year classes, (ii) using TAs to provide feedback to students on ungraded, but mandatory, practice problems, (iii) utilizing strategic peer review later in the semester, (iv) discussing sample problems and answers in class, and (v) consistently linking discussion of doctrinal cases to principles of effective writing. See The Impact of Individualized Feedback on Law Student Performance for an article on this topic.
Room 50: An Innovative Approach to Teaching Students to Recognize the Influence of Race in the Law — Professor Sherri Lee Keene
Professor Keene will share an approach she took for teaching advocacy last year that helped students recognize the influence of race in the law. In a nutshell, students wrote a brief for a Fourth Amendment case involving a Terry stop in an airport. They later wrote a brief that addressed a stop in an area designated as “high crime” for an actual case. In writing these two briefs, students were able to appreciate the courts’ differing treatment of different people in different locations. This led to many rich discussions.
Room 65: Lawyering Portfolios — Professor Deborah Jones Merritt
Employers increasingly seek evidence that their hires are practice-ready, and students are eager to obtain more practice experience. Every law school course— including large podium courses—can offer students the opportunity to create work product for a “lawyering portfolio.” Those portfolios enhance student learning, support assessment, and impress employers. In states considering alternatives pathways to licensure, these portfolios may even substitute for the bar exam. This workshop will offer examples of how professors can modify traditional assessments to generate work product suitable for lawyering portfolios. In addition to providing examples of assignments that professors have used successfully, the workshop will offer grading rubrics that can be adapted for a wide range of assignments.
2:15 PM In(doctrine)ation: Alternatives to the Case Method
Moderated by Professor Daniel Schwarcz, Minnesota Law
Professor Sherri Lee Keene, Georgetown Law
Professor O.J. Salinas, North Carolina Law
Professor Sandra Simpson, Gonzaga Law
Professor Beth Wilensky, Michigan Law
3:30 PM The Future of Lawyer Accreditation
Moderated by Professor Carol Chomsky, Minnesota Law
Professor Catherine Martin Christopher, Texas Tech Law
Professor Deborah Jones Merritt, Ohio State Law
Dr. Danette McKinley, National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE)
4:45 PM Closing Remarks
Leah Reiss (Editor-in-Chief) & Joshua Gutzmann (Symposium Articles Editor)
5:00 PM Reception
Also Featuring . . . Open House from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Riesenfeld Rare Books Research Center Exhibits
“Tools of the Profession” explores the history of legal education through the literature that has profoundly shaped it. From statute books to casebooks, and from treatises to dictionaries, legal literature has developed not only to record the law and aid professionals in practice, but to guide students from the earliest stages of study.
The exhibit also showcases the reciprocal nature of legal literature and legal education. In England and on the continent, legal literature developed in response to and as a product of education. Literature in our own country has followed a similar path: even C. C. Langdell’s famed “revolution” in legal education, still with us today, is first evident in his 1871 casebook on contracts. A trove of historical books illustrates the transformative developments in legal education over several centuries.
The accompanying exhibit, “Law Books in Legal Education at Minnesota,” drawn from the Law Library’s rich archives, highlights coursebooks, lectures, exam prep material, and early exams that shed light on the history of legal education at Minnesota. Selections from our growing student notebook collection reveal how students engaged with the law through a rigorous, dynamic education. The exhibits were curated by Ryan Greenwood, Pat Graybill, and Lily Eisenthal.
Each Volume’s symposium is selected in mid to late November of the prior year (e.g., the Fall 2023 Symposium will be selected in late fall 2022). Groups of 2L staffers propose symposium topics that will still be both novel and timely, and, after presentations by each group, the topic is selected by a full vote of the staffers.
Outside individuals are welcome to submit topic proposals to the current Volume’s Symposium Articles Editor, and a group of staffers may select to present that proposal at the annual meeting. Proposals that are most likely to be chosen to present will include:
(1) a short summary of the symposium topic;
(2) a summary of several topics for panels/sessions; and
(3) the names and brief biographies of the keynote speakers, panelists, etc. who would ideally participate in the symposium.
Please check out our archive for previous Minnesota Law Review symposia.