Four Steps to Help with Course Selection in Law School

CALI Lesson Four Steps to Help with Course Selection in Law Schools

Course selection plays a critical role in your success at law school. If you choose poorly, it can hurt your law school experience, your GPA, and your future career options. In this lesson, we provide you with a four-step process to help you make smart course selection choices each semester.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:
1. Calculate the remaining credits needed to graduate, and be able to disburse these credits over the remaining semesters.
2. Identify and plan for all the required classes you must complete before graduation.
3. List electives that will be advantageous for you as you navigate the remaining semesters.
4. Make a schedule for the upcoming semester that takes into account all the previous outcomes mentioned.

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New CALI Lesson Available – Advanced Exam Writing – Using Cases on Final Exams

This lesson helps students understand where cases fit in a final exam answer and develop arguments based on cases.Classroom discussion focuses heavily on cases. However, end of semester final exams don’t normally reference cases. Many students don’t know how cases operate on final exams. This lesson helps students understand where cases fit in a final exam answer and develop arguments based on cases. Students’ exam arguments should improve using this lesson’s techniques.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:

  1. Identify where cases should be used in an exam answer.
  2. Insert cases into an exam answer.
  3. Create legal arguments using cases as precedent.

 

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Teaching US Federal Income Taxation Law? Check out this OER casebook

   Creative Commons licensed. Peer-reviewed. 100% Free.

DESCRIPTION

This is the ninth version of this textbook, updated through December 2021 for use beginning January 2022.

In addition to incorporating new law and all inflation adjustments, this edition incorporates new charts pertaining to economic and tax data, including December 2019 CBO charts showing that income inequality between 2015 and 2020 (with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in 2017) worsened after taxes and transfers than before taxes and transfers are taken into account.

This textbook is not intended to be an exhaustive treatise; rather, it is intended to be far more useful than that for beginning tax law students by equipping the novice not merely with unmoored detail but rather with a rich blueprint that illuminates the deeper structural framework on which that detail hangs (sometimes crookedly). Chapter 1 outlines the conceptual meaning of the term income for uniquely tax purposes and examines the Internal Revenue Code provisions that translate this construct into positive law. Chapter 2 explores various forms of consumption taxation because the modern Internal Revenue Code is best perceived as a hybrid income-consumption tax that also contains many provisions that are inconsistent with both forms of taxation. Chapter 3 then provides students with the story of how we got to where we are today, important context about the distribution of the tax burden, the budget, and economic trends, as well as material on ethical debates, economic theories, and politics as they affect taxation.

Armed with this larger blueprint, students are in a much better position to evaluate the myriad pieces that follow throughout the remaining 18 chapters. For example, they are in a better position to appreciate how applying the income tax rules for debt to a debt-financed investment afforded more favorable consumption tax treatment creates tax shelter problems. Stated another way, they can better appreciate how the tax system can sometimes be used to generate (or combat) unfair and economically inefficient rent-seeking behavior.
444,851 Words, 726 pages in PDF.  Published December 2021

A Teacher’s Manual is available for faculty; please use your CALI credentials to login for access.

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Law School Lingo: How to Navigate A Brand New Vocabulary

CALI Lesson Law School Vocabulary

If you are just starting law school, or thinking about doing so soon, it can often feel like you need to learn a foreign language. Not to mention all the abbreviations, odd acronyms, and more! This lesson is designed to help you get started on mastering the brand new language that is the field of law.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:
1. Recognize common law school vocabulary and acronyms.
2. Define common law school vocabulary and acronyms.
3. Identify appropriate resources to use when they encounter new vocabulary.


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Teaching Bankruptcy Law? Check out the new 4th Edition casebook entitled “Bankruptcy Law & Practice” by Prof. Germain.

Creative Commons licensed. Peer-reviewed. 100% Free. 

DESCRIPTION

This is the fourth edition of Bankruptcy Law and Practice, a Casebook Designed to Train Lawyers for the Practice of Bankruptcy Law. It is designed for a one-semester course in debtor/creditor law and bankruptcy. The book deals with both creditor remedies and debtor protections, starting with state law collection remedies, exemptions, and the important special protections for secured creditors under both Article 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code and state real property recording acts. After a thorough review of state law debt collection practice, the book covers the basics of straight bankruptcy law with a focus on Chapter 7 of the Bankruptcy Code, both for individuals and businesses. Although the book has a practice focus, it covers the major Supreme Court cases, and important appellate cases with an emphasis on areas of uncertainty. The book also emphasizes the Bankruptcy Code itself, using problem sets to get students to work through the language of the Bankruptcy Code.

At the end of the book are two abbreviated chapters on bankruptcy reorganizations for consumers under Chapter 13 and for businesses under Chapter 11. These chapters are intended to outline the reasons that debtors choose to file for reorganization rather than liquidation, and focuses on the rules for confirming a plan.

The primary goal of the book is to prepare students for the practice of bankruptcy law. Students who understand these materials should be well prepared to anticipate and address the kinds of issues that arise in real bankruptcy cases, whether in a small-dollar consumer practice or a big-dollar corporate reorganization. Students will learn the language of commercial law and bankruptcy, along with the skills to find their way around the Bankruptcy Code.

Also available to students, as a separate document under eBook Downloads, is the Bankruptcy Code and Selected Provisions of Federal Law.

Casebook: 319,629 Words, 622 Pages in PDF (including appendix materials)
Bankruptcy Code and Selected Provisions of Federal Law: 328 Pages in PDF

Published December 2021

A teacher’s manual is available for instructors containing a summary of the cases and an analysis of the problems. Faculty should use their CALI credentials to login and access the teacher’s manual. Professor Germain is available to faculty by email to answer questions and discuss the ideas for presenting the material.

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The Center of Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) announces the appointment of five new board members.

At its Annual Membership Meeting on Wednesday, January 19, 2022, the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) Board of Directors appointed five (5) new members to fill the vacancy of outgoing Board Member Professor Debra Cohen from UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, Jill Smith from Georgetown Law, and Professor Jennifer Martin from St. Thomas University College of Law. We greatly appreciate their contributions in their support of CALI and wish them all the best.

All CALI Board members are unpaid volunteers.

NEW CALI BOARD MEMBERS:

  • Alena Allen, Interim Dean, University of Arkansas School of Law – BIO
  • Benjamin Carlson, Director of Information Technology Services, University of Connecticut School of Law – BIO
  • Larry Cunningham, Dean and Professor of Law, Charleston School of Law – BIO
  • Sara Frug, Co-Executive Director, LII / Cornell – BIO
  • Stephen Johnson, Professor of Law, Mercer University School of Law – BIO (Re-elected)
  • Jenny Wondracek, Director of the Law Library and Professor of Legal Research and Writing, Capital University Law School – BIO
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8 Reasons You Should Assign CALI Lessons to Your Students

legal study aid, CALI Lessons

CALI Lessons are a great legal study aid to help prepare for legal exams.

If you teach in a US law school, you should be looking at CALI Lessons and assigning them to your students.

-1- CALI Lessons are another way to learn the law

CALI Lessons are another way to learn the law. They are interactive web-based tutorials that both teach and exercise the students’ understanding of what they just read. Students learn from their casebook readings, classroom, and supplements. Many commercial supplements are not written by law faculty and are simplified and watered-down versions of the law. CALI Lessons are not. CALI Lessons present hypothetical situations and then quiz the students on their understanding using follow-up questions and branching to make sure they got the right answer for the right reasons.

-2- CALI Lessons are formative assessments for your students

Students want to know that they are understanding what they study. The only way to be sure is to assess and CALI l Lessons provide a form of self-assessment for students. They get feedback on every question – whether they get it right or wrong – and they get a final score that tells them how they are doing on a specific legal topic. Using CALI’s LessonLink service, law faculty can create unique links to CALI Lessons that allow them to view student scores. This gives faculty feedback on how well their students are following their teaching.

-3- CALI Lessons are interactive and engaging

CALI Lessons are not videos that students passively watch. The material is modeled on Socratic Dialogue where a question is asked, the student answers, and then various aspects of the topic are explored. CALI Lessons are written by tenured law faculty with many years of teaching experience (law librarians author the legal research lessons). The lessons purposefully steer students into thinking about the topic in a nuanced way.

-4- CALI Lessons are rigorous

It is difficult to get a perfect score on most CALI Lessons the first time through. Law is complex and CALI Lessons dive into that complexity. Each lesson covers a specific topic without getting too broad in scope. The questions are tough and require serious thought from the student. A typical lesson takes 20 to 40 minutes for a student to complete and the student gets a score with a certificate of completion at the end of the lesson. Students can run the lessons multiple times to improve their understanding.

-5- CALI Lessons are authored by your colleagues and reviewed three separate times – by internal staff, by non-anonymous peer review, and anonymously by the CALI Editorial Board

CALI Lessons are written by tenured law faculty who have taught the subject multiple times. Our model for authoring is to invite five faculty to form a Fellowship. First, we train them in our authoring software and they meet to determine the most significant topics in a course. Only then do they decide who will write which lessons. Fellows are required to write five lessons, so a typical Fellowship will yield 25 new CALI Lessons in 8-12 months. Fellows meet in person three times to discuss and review each other’s lesson – it’s a collaborative effort such that the quality of the lesson benefits from five experienced faculty. Next, the lessons are reviewed, anonymously, by law faculty on the CALI Editorial Board. These are faculty CALI pays to do reviews and many are authors of CALI Lessons themselves, so they understand the medium. Finally, when we publish the lessons, we get feedback from faculty and students which we use to make improvements. Every year, we go back to our authors and ask if there is a need for revisions due to changes in the law. We pay authors for extensive revisions. CALI Lessons are some of the most extensively vetted and reviewed educational materials available in legal education today.

-6- CALI Lessons are short and respect the attention span of modern thinking about content design

Today’s students are born digital and research shows that it is better to ‘chunk’ material to provide natural breaks while studying. CALI Lessons are designed this way so that faculty can assign only the material they want to assign and students only study the material they need. CALI Lessons are designed to take between 20 and 40 minutes for the student to complete and because of the interactive nature, they reward repeated runs.

-7- CALI Lessons are a good learning appetizer or an excellent learning dessert

CALI Lessons are an excellent learning experience when assigned as a first bite at the material. They prepare the student for class or subsequent readings. The material is pithy and rigorous; students are exposed to the concepts and nomenclature of the topic without being drilled and practiced to death. In addition, CALI Lessons are excellent for studying after class (alone or in a study group), after the casebook readings, or for studying for the final exam. They provide immediate and substantive feedback that can direct the student to the places where further study is required.

-8- CALI Lessons are great for covering material you can’t fit into your syllabus

There aren’t enough classroom hours to cover everything. You can assign CALI Lessons that cover topics that you don’t have time to cover in class. If you have snow days or must cancel a class to attend a conference, you can assign CALI Lessons and if you use LessonLink, you can see how well your students did.

These are some of our reasons for using CALI Lessons in your teaching. We want our materials to be useful, relevant, and up to date and we work very hard towards those goals. CALI publishes over 1200 lessons covering 40 different legal subject areas. These lessons have been used over 10 million times by law students over the years. Take a look at CALI Lessons for your teaching. If you would like someone from CALI to come out to your law school and give a lunch talk to the faculty, drop me a note. The most common comment I hear when I do these talks is “I didn’t know you did that.” We are always looking to innovate and improve. If you have comments, ideas, suggestions, or complaints, do not hesitate to contact me at jmayer@cali.org. I am listening.

 

John Mayer
Executive Director
Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI)
jmayer@cali.org
@johnpmayer – twitter
@caliorg – CALI on twitter

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The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction is awarded a grant from AccessLex Institute® to extend the CALI Law School Success Fellowship

(Chicago, IL) – October 27, 2021 – The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) has received a grant from AccessLex Institute® to extend the CALI Law School Success Fellowship. The goal of the Fellowship is to further the reach of Academic Success Professionals and help law students become better learners in the unique law school environment. The grant will produce 12 CALI Lessons, 12 video walkthroughs of CALI Lessons that expand on the material, and 20 podcasts, in a collaborative process by the Fellows. These materials will be cross-reviewed by the Fellows, internally reviewed by experienced CALI staff, and anonymously reviewed by the CALI Editorial Board. When complete, these materials will be published on the CALI website and made available to over 100,000 law students to help them succeed in law school and to thousands of pre-law students contemplating a career in law.

“AccessLex is a real force of good change in legal education. We are delighted to be working with them again on these innovative learning materials that could help all law students in their studies,” says John Mayer, Executive Director, CALI.

The CALI Law School Success Fellowship produced 35 law school success lessons representing 5% of all CALI Lesson runs since August 2020.

Introducing the Law School Success Fellows:

Professor Steven Foster
Oklahoma City University School of Law
Instructor of Law and Director of Academic Achievement
Bio

Nicole Lefton
Hofstra University Maurice A. Deane School of Law
Assistant Professor of Law
Bio

Laura Mott
City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law
Director, Academic Skills Center for Evening 1L Program
Bio

Professor Melissa Hale
Loyola Chicago School of Law
Director of Academic Success and Bar Programs
Bio

Contact:

Deb Quentel
Director of Curriculum Development and Associate Counsel
The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI)
dquentel@cali.org
312-906-5353

About CALI®:

The Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction, also known as CALI, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit consortium of mostly US law schools that conducts applied research and development in the area of computer-mediated legal education. The organization is best known in law schools for CALI Lessons, online interactive tutorials in legal subjects, and CALI Excellence for the Future Awards (CALI Awards), given to the highest scorer in a law school course at many CALI member law schools. Nearly every US law school is a member of CALI.

CALI was incorporated in 1982 in the state of Minnesota by the University of Minnesota Law School and Harvard Law School.  Learn more.

About AccessLex Institute®:

Nonprofit AccessLex Institute® is committed to helping talented, purpose-driven students find their path from aspiring lawyer to fulfilled professional. In partnership with its nearly 200 nonprofit and state-affiliated, ABA-approved member law schools, improving access and positively influencing legal education have been at the heart of the organization’s mission since 1983. Learn more.

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New eLangdell Press Casebook – Bioethics and the Law: Notes, Cases, and Problems

 

photo of browne lewis law school dean elangdell author bioethicsThe purpose of bioethics is to put forth ethically acceptable solutions to the problems posed by modern medicine. The actions of healthcare providers are governed by the four principles of bioethics: autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence, and justice. The principles of bioethics are directly connected to legal mandates. This book is designed to be used to teach a 2 or 3 credit biomedical ethics and law course or seminar. The number of biomedical ethics issues are vast and beyond the scope of this book. In this book, there will be an examination of the most common duties and rights that arise from the healthcare provider-patient relationship.

In addition to cases, the book contains problems, notes, and questions. The cases are designed to give the student a clear understanding of the relevant law. The problems are included to permit the students the opportunity to apply the law. The notes and questions are provided so the students will think critically about the policies behind the law and the outcome of the cases.

218,000 Words, 374 Pages in PDF

A Teacher’s Manual is available for faculty; please use your CALI credentials to log in for access.

​​​​​​​The digital version of this book is available for free. CALI eLangdell Press provides the print version at no markup. You are simply paying for the cost of Lulu’s services.

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Welcome our newest CALI Author – Zahr K. Said

CALI Author Zahr Said Introduction

Zahr has joined the roster of over 30 law professors that authored eLangdell Press® casebooks. These casebooks are 100% Free, Creative Commons licensed, and Peer-reviewed. And backed by additional CALI resources.

Tort Law: A 21st-Century Approach

Description:

Tort Law: A 21st-Century Approach (TL21C) introduces students to tort law with a set of cases and methods that have been updated for 21st-century legal education. Pairing classic cases with a host of recent, lesser-known cases, the casebook deliberately provides opportunities to engage with issues of race, gender, sexual orientation, ability, class as well as fundamental questions of civil justice. The book’s introduction diverges from the standard method of teaching torts, by framing the subject matter in terms of the three primary regimes of tort law—negligence, strict liability and the intentional torts—and by setting the stakes for questions of policy from the outset.

This casebook offers a series of 7 modules, each with numerous “Check Your Understanding” questions that permit students to answer questions that help them assess and expand upon their learning in real-time. These and a number of “Socratic Scripts” may also facilitate online or “hybrid” learning at a moment in which innovative approaches to teaching are more in demand or indeed, necessary.

  • Paper casebook, PDF … and …
  • Website version of casebook with interactive questions using H5P tech
  • Links in PDF go to the questions on website
  • No cost, subscription code, or DRM

DOWNLOAD

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