Max Huffman and Cynthia M. Adams, IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Principal Investigator: Max Huffman, professor of law, director of online programs, IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Co-principal Investigators: Cynthia M. Adams, clinical professor of law, IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Project Title: Teaching Contract Drafting and Comparative and International Competition Law Online Through Simulations

Funding Level: $10,000

Abstract:

This project, a Phase II redesign of existing online courses, will enhance the IU McKinney School of Law’s online programming on a macro level by implementing innovations in existing online courses that have been delivered and are being delivered presently to law students. The target is “practice readiness” through simulated transactional law practice. Law students face an employment environment in which lawyering skills are highly valued at the entry level. In addition, law schools’ primary accrediting agency has imposed a minimum credit requirement for the amount of experiential learning students undertake in their JD degree. The innovations targeted here will improve learning outcomes while also addressing regulatory requirements.

The School of Law has substantial experience delivering live experiential learning through simulations. Online pedagogical techniques that offer opportunities for students to engage in practice-ready exercises have much promise as complements to live experiential offerings.

Because today’s graduates will not only interact in person with opponents, clients, and colleagues; they will also frequently interact and transact online. Experiential practice-ready teaching and learning may be the most natural pedagogical technique in online law teaching.

The ultimate goal to be achieved in continually innovating in online teaching at IU McKinney is to establish a “signature pedagogy” for a legal education that serves accreditor requirements as well as student and employer demand. The simulations we seek to develop in this Phase II grant project promise to represent an innovation that we expect will be quickly disseminated in the McKinney curriculum as well as externally.