The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning has launched a new journal that will focus on legal pedagogy, called The Journal of Law Teaching and Learning. This new publication initially plans to release one volume per year, beginning in fall 2023.
Professor Michael Colatrella has been selected as the editor-in-chief of the Journal’s inaugural edition, and Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz and Professor Jeff Proske will serve on the journal’s editorial board.
The Institute was established in 1991 to help law schools provide a learning environment that helps students achieve the highest academic standards and prepares them to assume their responsibilities as effective and moral attorneys. It is the oldest and preeminent law school-based initiative aimed at improving law teaching and learning. The Institute hosts national teaching conferences and conducts private trainings for law schools across the country and throughout the world.
McGeorge School of Law became a host school of the Institute in January on the strength of its commitment to excellent teaching and support of the scholarship of teaching and learning. Colatrella is one of the Institute’s three co-directors.
The journal will be a peer-edited publication dedicated to high-quality, full-length law review articles on law teaching. The vision for the journal is to publish science-based articles focused on theoretical or empirical studies of effective teaching and learning. Topics will range from articles focusing on pedagogy specific to particular fields, like constitutional law, to general pieces that address assessment best practices across all law school courses.
“We think that there’s an untapped market to have this additional journal where we can publish high-quality scholarship,” Colatrella said.
The journal plans to focus on full-length scholarly articles that specially address pedagogy. Similar journals have a broader scope and include both pieces that address law school pedagogy and pieces that address topics such as law school administration, opinion essays, and book reviews. An important goal of the new journal will be to publish articles that are driven by evidence rather than articles that report anecdotal experiences of law teachers.
“As law professors, none of us get educated on how to teach. We just teach how we think is best and emulate professors we had in law school. While law teachers continue to place great emphasis on the Socratic Method, things are changing. Law schools are smaller than they were before, and there is new science on how to teach that doesn’t quite permeate the ‘law school bubble,’” Colatrella stated.
The journal will publish peer-reviewed articles. By promoting excellence in law teaching via the journal, the Institute hopes that law schools will better prepare students to succeed in practice and pass the bar exam.
The Institute will send The Journal of Law Teaching and Learning by email to every law professor in the country, and is now accepting submissions on Scholastica. Scholars may also submit articles directly to Michael Colatrella by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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