Statement of Teaching Philosophy
My primary goals in teaching are: (1) to develop students’ body of legal knowledge; (2) to develop and improve students’ analytical and critical legal reasoning; (3) to instill in students professionalism and knowledge of legal ethics; and (4) to foster in students a lifetime love of learning and the law.
Developing a Base of and Improving Legal Knowledge – One of my most important responsibilities as a teacher is to teach the substance of the law so that my students acquire an understanding of the black letter law as well as the relevant public policy concerns at play. I hope to teach the importance of students understanding the applicable legal settings as well as the processes in and protocols by which laws play out. I hope to facilitate student learning by presenting the materials in a variety of manners. I hope to enhance the learning process by building repetition of the materials into the course. I seek to ensure that students understand “the forest” as well as “the trees” by connecting and building upon the course materials throughout the semester.
Developing and Improving Analytical and Critical Reasoning – The abilities to read, think, and express oneself critically are vital skills for all lawyers, regardless of type of practice. I plan to develop critical reading and oral communication skills by, for example, analyzing and discussing cases during class meetings. I plan to teach and improve students’ statutory interpretation and construction skills by, for example, parsing statutes in appropriate courses. Equally as important as being able to think and communicate orally like a lawyer, one must be able to think like a lawyer in writing. I hope to develop the ability to think like a lawyer in writing by encouraging written answers to problems, both in and out of the classroom and by providing students with opportunities to communicate legal ideas in writing.
Instilling Professionalism and a Knowledge of Legal Ethics – One joins the legal profession when one enters law school, not upon graduating from law school. As lawyers confront ethics issues daily, it is important for students to recognize legal ethics issues, not only in the formal professional responsibility course, but throughout every course in law school. One of my goals in teaching is to raise and identify ethical issues throughout every course. I also strive to treat my students in a professional manner at all times by being prepared, prompt, and courteous. I endeavor to seek and provide useful feedback, exercise good judgment, and disseminate practical information.
Fostering a Lifetime Love of the Law – Overall, I seek to foster in my students a love of learning and the law. Practicing law well requires one to remain up-to-date. Remaining up-to-date in the law requires a commitment to being a lifelong learner. In my teaching, I hope to pass on my enthusiasm for and love of learning and the law.