Prof. Abrams on teaching the law in the era of Donald Trump

Prof. Abrams on teaching the law in the era of Donald Trump

Jamie Abrams

In a forthcoming article in the Duquesne Law Review, Professor Jamie Abrams begins a discussion on how to launch experiential learning courses and assessment techniques in classes addressing politically divisive topics.

"Experiential Learning and Assessment in the Era of Donald Trump" will be published as part of a symposium volume dedicated to the methods of teaching legislation and statutory interpretation.

The article grew out of a three-year process of converting a traditional seminar on Legislation to a simulation course. Simulation courses provide students with experiences similar to a those of a practicing lawyer.

The American Bar Association has recently mandated that law students must enroll in more courses that focus on experiential learning. The courses are designed to give students the opportunity to develop practical skills.

"While many conversations have been had about how to implement these new ABA Standards from a curriculum, staffing and compliance perspective, this paper looks at the challenges and opportunities presented in this modern political climate," Abrams says.

"Faculty must engage students in more active learning with real-time feedback designed around realistic and timely simulations. Yet, they must do this in a time of great divisiveness in law, society, and politics," she writes in the article's abstract. "In this modern reality, both faculty and students alike may not be comfortable, prepared, or equipped to navigate these challenges without savvy techniques and methods."