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Flipping the Ethics Classroom

Submitted by Selene Mize on Wed, 07-23-2014
Long title
Flipping the Legal Ethics Classroom
Mize, Selene
Author(s)' contact information
University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Conference title
International Legal Ethics Conference VI
Conference location
City University London
New Zealand
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For part of my 2013 Legal Ethics course, I moved all expository content outside class, giving students traditional cases and course materials to read, and I also provided substantive handouts, and video clips to watch. This process, known in education literature as “flipping”, is considered to have advantages for learning, and it freed up class time for more innovative activities. In one class, for example, a teaching fellow and I played clients who showed up at a lawyer’s office asking to be represented jointly. The class had to interview us and then advise us whether joint representation would be consistent with the professional rules of conduct.
Flipping has a number of potential advantages for legal ethics instruction. It forces students to be more active in class, potentially resulting in deeper learning, and it directs student focus onto application of ethical principles in practical situations, thus potentially having greater influence on students’ later professional careers.
In this session, I will briefly cover the theory behind flipping and its advantages, and discuss my experience and lessons learned, and how I will modify my approach in 2014. I will show some short animated clips illustrating legal principles that I made for students to watch outside of class, and discuss activities for in class and outside class. Plenty of time will be reserved for group discussion.
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