Abstract

Part of a special issue on teaching legal ethics. The writer presents an account of an experiment at the University of California at Berkeley's School of Law (Boalt Hall) with the teaching of a required professional responsibility course to first year law students. He states that the two unit course, which was taught from spring 1992 through spring 1994, used a uniform set of teaching materials prepared and revised by faculty members. He outlines the history of the university's required professional responsibility course, explains why the faculty initially decided to move the course to the first year, and discusses some of the decisions that impacted on the design of the course and its reception. In addition, he describes the experiment, including details of the curriculum, methods of teaching it, student reaction, revisions and improvements made in light of that reaction, and the ultimate decision to move the course to the second year. Finally, he draws some tentative conclusions from the experience with the experimental course that have a broader application.

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