Boston College Law

Case Study: Boston College Law School

Practice provides an excellent opportunity for my students to crystalize and review concepts we have gone over in class in a way that requires them to look at messy facts and decide what advice makes sense. It provides an effective way to develop skills that we don’t always do in class.

Brian Quinn

Associate Dean of Experiential Learning, Boston College Law School

Boston College prepares students for the real world

The Challenge

Boston College Law School’s professors wanted to give all of their students an opportunity to practice the skills and theories that they were learning in class. They also wanted students to interact with and learn from each other and a network of experts in order to create a greater sense of community within the classrooms. Online discussion boards and course builders helped students communicate with each other, but did not fix the disconnect between the classroom and real-world application.

BOSTON COLLEGE LAW SCHOOL CASE STUDY

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The Need

Boston College Law School’s professors wanted to give all of their students an opportunity to practice the skills that they were learning, instead of the few that happened to be called on in class. They also wanted students to interact with and learn from each other in order to create a greater sense of community within the classrooms. The time spent lecturing and doing demos in class limited the amount students were able to collaborate and discuss topics with each other. Not only did Boston College Law School want to encourage student practice and interaction, they also hoped to increase communication with outside law professionals. Online discussion boards and course builders could easily help students communicate with each other, but those solutions still did not fix the disconnect between the classroom and real world application, as practice and information from industry experts would.

The Solution

By adopting Practice, Boston College Law School was able to help students gain real-world practice and knowledge before entering the workforce. Practice exercises were used to help students gain a greater sense of the practical applications of their theoretical knowledge and refine their communication and critical thinking skills when applied to actual cases. Practice’s video-based simulations not only primed students for engaging, meaningful in-class discussions, but also allowed instructors to better leverage their networks of practicing lawyers to provide real-world feedback to real-world problems.

PRACTICE BENEFITS

Boston College Law School’s goal was to create a blended environment where students could learn by doing and put their theoretical knowledge into practice. Through their Practice exercises they were able to better prepare their law students for the challenges and rigors of law in the real world.

  • Practice skills as a class even when apart.

    Utilizing Practice as a blended tool allowed professors to reach their students outside of the classroom. Classes participated in exercises at home, practicing the skills and reviewing each other’s responses. When they returned to class, they would hear from expert lawyers currently in practice and provide examples of how the challenge would be handled in the real world.

  • Gain practical skills.

    A common problem in most law schools is that so much learning is theoretical and there is little time to gain practical knowledge to apply the theories to the real world. Boston College Law School faced this problem head-on and used Practice to provide their students with real challenges that they would encounter as future lawyers.

  • Engage with a network of experts.

    With a wide alumni network, Boston College Law School wanted to utilize the expertise from former students that were now practicing lawyers. By allowing their alumni to participate in exercises as experts and demonstrate how problems were handled, Boston College Law School was able to use their natural network to their advantage.

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