Simulating the Law: Experiential 'Teachniques' in the Modern Law Curricula.
AbstractThe concept of arguing aspects of legal scenarios in order to facilitate student learning within the law curriculum originated in the vocational Inns of Court in 14th century England (Dickerson, 2000). Nowadays, simulations of court proceedings, such as moot courts and mock trials, are widely employed as educational tools in law modules in third level institutions, both academic and vocational, around the world (Knerr et al., 2001) in order to foster advocacy and legal reasoning skills (Hernandez, 1998). However, there is a dearth of empirical research (with the exception of Lynch, 1996 and Keyes & Whincop, 1997) on the actual benefits of such experiential learning techniques for students. The majority of literature on this topic tends to rely heavily on anecdotal evidence, provided by law lecturers on how he/she perceived that such tools benefitted his/her students (Gaubatz, 1981; Kenety, 1995; Hernandez, 1998). In order to properly evaluate whether or when such experiential learning techniques should be included in a law curriculum, a project was carried out in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University in the academic year 2008 - 2009, in order to assess their benefits as a pedagogical tool at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Perhaps differing from the approach to simulations which is adopted in many law courses in third level institutions, whereby there is a stand-alone ‘Moot Court’ module in place, the project carried out at DCU integrated the experiential learning techniques into substantive modules within the law curriculum.
Daly, Yvonne and Higgins, Noelle (2010) Simulating the Law: Experiential 'Teachniques' in the Modern Law Curricula. Research in Education, 84. pp. 29-81. ISSN 0034-5237