Tuesday June 12, 2012

Collaboration Focuses on Distance Learning in Legal Education

The University of Dayton School of Law is working with other law schools around the country in a project on distance learning in legal education.

Earlier this spring, the University of Dayton School of Law hosted a workshop exploring distance learning in legal education. Organized by the Working Group on Distance Learning in Legal Education, the workshop included representatives of eight law schools and three educational institutions.

The working group includes faculty and administrators from public, private and for-profit law schools. The group is designing best practices for distance learning that it will recommend to the American Bar Association, which is in the process of redefining rules on distance learning in legal education.

“Distance learning is a significant factor in other sectors of higher education both domestically and internationally, and will become increasingly important in American legal education,” said professor Dennis Greene, who participated in the working group’s meeting in Keller Hall. “It is a very forward thinking that Dean McGreal has committed institutional support for the development of distance learning at the University of Dayton School of Law.”

During the fall 2012 semester, Greene will teach Constitutional Law to the first-year students as a blended learning course. Students will meet online for one-third of class and in-person in a classroom for two-thirds of the course.

Greene participated in the University of Dayton’s E-Learning Fellows Program during the spring semester.

The law school has already offered blended-learning courses on Health Care Law and Remedies, both of which are taught by professor Vernellia Randall and combine traditional classroom instruction with online instruction. The School of Law also offered two additional distance-learning courses this summer, with classes on the unbundling of legal services, taught by Stephanie Kimbro ’03, who operates a web-based virtual law office in North Carolina, and Federal Criminal Law, taught by John F. Stinneford, assistant professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law.

The Working Group on Distance Learning also met in January during the Association of American Law Schools’ annual meeting and last November at Harvard Law School, for a workshop sponsored by Harvard’s Program on the Legal Profession and Vermont Law School. It will next meet in the fall at Thomas Jefferson School of Law.

For more information, contact Bob Mihalek at 937-229-4683 or bob.mihalek@udayton.edu.