The Garage

The stories are legendary – of great tech companies from HP to Google starting in garages.

CALI didn’t exactly get its start in a garage, but I do I like to think of CALI’s booth at AALS as the “garage” for CALI lessons. It’s where CALI’s staff gathers to talk with faculty members, current authors and future authors. And, AALS in Washington, D.C. at the beginning of January was no different than past years.  The conversations ranged from using CALI lessons in courses, free casebooks and statutory supplements from eLangdell Press, Classcaster, authoring lessons and constructing the most awesome mini-figs.

I left AALS with a pocketful of business cards from faculty members interested in authoring for CALI. Some faculty are interested in authoring lessons in existing areas to expand our coverage in those areas. Others are interested in striking out into new territory: Elder Law and Immigration, for example. Lessons in these areas are in addition to conversations that I’d already had in late Fall with several faculty members interested in writing in the areas of Aviation Law and Native American Law.

What does this mean for law students and faculty? More lessons. We’re on track to hit 900 lessons by the CALI Conference in June. Assuming each lesson is about 45 minutes in length, we are quickly approaching over 650 hours of educational materials. This is far more hours of CALI lessons than any one student should use, and we’re working to improve the ways that students and faculty find the “best” lessons for them to maximize students’ time and needs. We’ve got subject outlines and casebook correlation tables. Over the next seven months, we’ll be adding links to more lessons and more casebooks.

This week CALI is selecting a team of faculty to become the Administrative Law Fellows. We received many applications from very qualified faculty and spent most of last week interviewing them. The decisions have been difficult. Very difficult. And, by next week, we should have assembled a remarkable team of faculty. Within two months, I’ll see their first drafts.

Including this new group of Administrative Law Fellows, I’m working with about 20 faculty. I anticipate they will author more than 70 lessons in the next 12 months. My colleague, Sarah Glassmeyer, is working with about the same number of law librarians on legal research lessons. We’re projecting just short of 100 lessons in the next year. It’s all very exciting!

We’re always looking for more authors. Contact us if you’re interested in writing a lesson. Let us know which casebook you use, so we’re certain to try and include it in our correlation tables. And, next year at AALS, please stop by CALI’s “garage.” “Kick the tires” on our newest projects and talk with us.


Credit: Artwork by Eric Molisnky for CALI –


About Deb Quentel

Deb has been Director of Curriculum Development and Associate Counsel for CALI since 1997. During this time, Deb has worked with more than 120 faculty and law librarians and guided more than 700 lessons from start to website. Deb also oversees the development of titles for CALI's OER eLangdell Press. Prior to joining CALI, Deb was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Legal Writing and Research at Chicago-Kent College of Law.
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