At the kind invitation of Mary Spiers-Williams, I gave a seminar to our doctoral students here at ANU College of Law, last Friday.  For some reason WordPress refuses to render the slideset at the usual tab above, so you’ll find them over at Slideshare. The title is a sort of pun: the colon is and isn’t there, because in a number of ways I was questioning the idea of the apprenticeship model of education for doctoral education.  So you could read it as ‘The PhD, and beyond the apprenticeship model of learning’.  Why?

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Yestreen I wanted to look at an activity I put together for students, oh way back in 1995.  I’m sure every law teacher has a similar one.  It was on statutory interpretation, written up briefly in this book chapter.[1]  I located the file, clicked — and got the wee MS Word for Mac dialogue saying, effectively, sorry, can’t open.  Och.  I kind of suspected that would happen.  There are workarounds of course.  But maybe in another 20 years we won’t be able to read early Word documents at all.  We need to take a long view of our data infrastructure, and preserve for not the next couple of years or decades but at least the next few millennia.  But there are other issues and consequences here.

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  1. [1] See Maharg, P., (2000), ‘Context cues cognition’: writing, rhetoric and legal argumentation, in Learning to Argue in Higher Education, eds Richard Andrews & Sally Mitchell, Heinemann/Boynton Cook, New York.  The activity involved setting a problem – there’s been a toy craze for longbows, kids are buying everything from willow sticks to laminated PowerBows, indiscriminate hunting parties are organised on the web, archery battles in public parks, etc.  With an election coming up the government has asked you to draft legislation to deal with the problem, and quickly.  How are you going to draft it?  If they looked hard enough they’d find the Crossbows Act 1986; but the mischief here is subtly different.  Students enjoyed it, and it gave them a flavour of thinking through a complexity of a social problem and the place of legislation in dealing with it.

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Experiential learning & simulated clients

by Paul Maharg on 12/02/2015

Ahead-of-the-Curve

 

Just finished reading a fine report on experiential learning, with simulated clients at the core of the analysis.  The report is published by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), as part of its legal education initiative, Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, and is entitled Ahead of the Curve: Turning Law Students into Lawyers, authored by Alli Gerkman (Director, Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers) and Elena Harman, independent evaluator, and with research by Lloyd Bond and William M. Sullivan (Carnegie Report co-authors).  The report focuses on New Hampshire Law School’s Daniel Webster Scholar Honors Program (DWS), which provides a ‘combination of training and assessment over a two-year period that serves as a variant to the two-day Bar Examination’, and assesses the Program’s outcomes.  So what were the results?

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Title & abstract of Wellness talk

February 7, 2015

A couple of people have asked for title and abstract of my piece (not available via Forum website, maybe later – so busy commenting on others I forgot to post mine).  Anyway here it is below.  It will form one of two chapters on Eynsham County Primary School, in a book that I’m writing on […]

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Wellness in Law Forum: Final thoughts

February 7, 2015

I arrived in Australia a day before the Forum began, with a cold + jetlag, so apologies for more typos, inexplicables, etc than usual.  In the wrap-up Stephen Tang thanked the committee and others; and we thanked Stephen and his colleagues — great job!  Looking ahead, it was announced that the College of Law, Sydney […]

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Wellness in Law Forum, day 2: session 6b: Starting Well – The first year experience

February 6, 2015

Final parallel session of the Forum.  First up, Joanne Stagg-Taylor, Griffith U., on ‘Starting the conversation: embedding approaches to hope and wellness in the first year experience’.  She summarised the stressors for anxiety and depression in first year students, eg competition with other students, doing poorly on a course, family care for 5+ hours a […]

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Wellness in Law Forum, day 2: plenary 2 & panel discussion

February 6, 2015

This plenary by Laura Helm, Law Institute of Victoria (Human Rights & Admin Law) – ‘Changing minds: towards a mindful profession’.  She’s talking on research on the causes of depression and anxiety in lawyers; the framework for response — prevention and cultural change; LIV strategies, and the way forward.  She cited the stats from Courting […]

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Parallel session 4b: Emotion, empathy and relationships

February 6, 2015

I’m chairing so comments will be shorter.  First up, Jenny Richards, Flinders U., on ‘ Developing a sociolegal theory of criminal lawyering: increasing wellbeing through holistic engagement with clients’.  She focused on both her work as a lecturer at Flinders, and as a lawyer at the Criminal Bar.  Managing client emotions were a key need […]

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National Wellness for Law Forum, 5-6 February, day 2 keynote

February 6, 2015

Day 2 of this Forum.  After opening remarks by Stephen Bottomley, Dean of ANU College of Law, keynote is by the Hon Justice Shane Marshall, Federal Court of Australia, Ambassador, Wellness and the Law Foundation. Like this:Like Loading…

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Parallel session 1B – International Perspectives on Wellness for Law

February 5, 2015

First up, Liz Lee from ANU College of Law and Rachel Spearing, from the Bar Wellness project and member of staff at Portsmouth, on Wellness in UK legal education and practice: voices of first year law students to members of the Bar.  Liz conducted about 30 interviews on the subject when she recently spent study […]

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