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them said they learned from the course.

practice. How much of a law student’s

no pedagogical training before beginning

good teacher.

much to doctrine is a debate, Rice said,

work, he said, “We talk about the same

learn themselves.

how do I make this case simple?”

you have to teach it to someone else,” said

teacher can be a bit intimidating. Mary Kate

trict Court, Southern District of Ohio, who

But unlike Gorman, who taught middle

school before her law career, Whelley had teaching as an adjunct. In his training

things that Barbara and I do. For example, The process of a practitioner becoming a

Huffman ’90, Montgomery County (Ohio) Common Pleas Court judge and president of the School of Law Alumni Association,

remembers clearly her first year teaching

For, a teacher whose students learn is a And good teachers, adjuncts say, also “You learn a subject inside out when

Judge Walter Rice of the United States Dis-

taught trial practice at UD for two decades.

“If you can explain what you do and why, it makes you better.”

And that is “extremely rewarding,” said

learning should be related to skills and how “that has waxed and waned for years.”

The two kinds of courses are different.

They differ in purpose. Rice pointed, for

example, to the difference between a law

student learning when he or she could make an objection in court — a matter of learning the substance of the law — and learning

when he or she should — a matter of learning the practice of the law.

The two types of courses also differ in

nearly a decade ago. After the course was

Ria Farrell Schalnat ’99, a patent attorney

how they are taught. According to Huff-

sociate dean for academic affairs, that she

with professor Julie Zink, has taught a cap-

methods work. A teacher can’t tell you how

finished, she told Kel Dickinson, then asdidn’t know whether she did it right.

“I can assure you,” she remembered him

saying, “that you did it badly.”

That was not quite the response she

expected. But his point was simple: No one is a good teacher at first. That takes years.

with Frost Brown Todd in Cincinnati, who,

stone course in patent litigation. “I feel like

I’m giving something to the next generation

subject through their eyes.”

cliché,” he said. “But that is exactly what a

much as the students when I look at the

Part of that benefit comes from stopping

discount the best and the worst (“There will

which pieces will be useful to the learning

ple who dislike you a lot”) but pay attention to those in the middle, seeing how many of

Rice praised the balance and the focus

of Dayton’s approach to legal education.

and looking at one’s experience practic-

always be people who like you a lot and peo-

to do a skill but can help you learn it.”

of lawyers but also that I’m benefitting as

He also gave her pragmatic advice on how

to use student evaluations, suggesting she

man, “Skills classes are where non-Socratic

“The Lawyer as Problem Solver sounds like a lawyer is.”

The bottom line, he said, is to serve

ing law, Schalnat said, and “discerning

“in the most effective, efficient and cost-


your client.”

Schalnat’s capstone course, like many

effective way to produce the best results for


of those taught by adjuncts, emphasizes

WINTER 2011-12



Dayton Lawyer - Winter 2011-2012  
Dayton Lawyer - Winter 2011-2012  

Dayton Lawyer - Winter 2011-2012