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17 Law Tchr. 1 (2010-2011)

handle is hein.journals/lawteaer17 and id is 1 raw text is: FALL 2010
Promoting the science
and art of teaching
The Law Teacher, Volume XVII, Number 1
The Law Teacher is published twice a year by the
Institute for Law Teaching and Learning. It provides
aforum for ideas to improve teaching and learning in
law schools and informs law teachers of the activities
of the Institute.
Opinions expressed in The Law Teacher are those of
the individual authors. They are not necessarily the
opinions of the editors or of the Institute.
Aida M. Alaka and Gerald Hess
Gerald Hess and Michael Hunter Schwartz
Advisory Committee:
Aida M. Alaka (Washburn)
Megan Ballard (Gonzaga)
R. Lawrence Dessem (Missouri-Columbia)
Olympia Duhart (Nova Southeastern)
Keith A. Findley (Wisconsin)
Steve Friedland (Elon)
Barbara Glesner Fines (UMKC)
Dennis Honabach (Northern Kentucky)
Paula Manning (Western State)
Margaret Sova McCabe (New Hampshire)
Nelson Miller (Thomas Cooley)
Lu-in Wang (Pittsburgh)
@2010 Institute for Law Teaching and Learning.
Gonzaga University School of Law and Washburn
University School of Law. All rights reserved.
ISSN: 1072-0499
In sid e...
Breaking Down the Blank Page: A Technique
for Outlining Essay Questions ...................... 3
Practical Preparation, Student Focused,
Serving the Community-The Wills Clinical
Lab  Experience ................................................. 4
Reversing the Norm: Promoting Student
Questioning Proficiency ................................. 6
Teaching Philosophy Statement ....................... 7
Focus Writing for Doctrinal Classes ................ 8
Call for Presentations: Engaging and
Asesin    Our Stdns ..................
Professiona  Deeomn Obiato 6......1
Cotxta Tethers  Greater
Under sta d n  ...........................1

Everybody Weighs In
By Gerry Hess, Gonzaga University School of Law

T 'd like everyone to weigh in on this.
I use that prompt several times
each semester to ask every student
to respond orally to a question I pose
in class. Below is a brief description of
the why, when, and how, of this
discussion technique, along with an
Why ask every student
to weigh in?
When students respond to questions
in class they are actively engaged in
thinking about the question, formulating
a reply, and delivering a response. When
we ask every student to respond to a
question, we get active engagement
from all of our students. Further, asking
every student to contribute also conveys
our expectation that all students will
contribute to class and demonstrates
our confidence that every student
has something valuable to offer. This
technique ensures that we hear from
our quiet students, not just those who
are most comfortable talking in class.
Finally, as each student responds, the
class gets a broad range of perspectives
on the question.
When to ask every
student to weigh in?
Although I use the everybody weighs
in technique in every course, I limit my
use of the technique to one, two, or three

times during each course. This technique
works best for open-ended questions
which give rise to diverse responses.
It takes a significant amount of class
time for every student to respond;
for example, thirty second responses
from twenty students consumes ten
minutes of class time. Consequently,
ask every student to respond only to
the most significant issues in the course.
For example, I use this technique to
have each student evaluate a statutory
scheme at the end of a unit - Identify
a major strength, weakness, or
appropriate amendment for the National
Environmental Policy Act.
How to ask every student
to weigh in?
Several practices help maximize the
benefits of asking every student to
* Pose the question in writing on a
slide, handout, or the board so that
all students know the prompt.
*  Give students a suggested time for
their responses - I'm looking for a
20-40 second response from each of
*  Tell students who will speak first
and how you will proceed around
the room.
- continued on page 2

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