Playing to Their Passion: A Legal Research Course that Resonates with Law Students

Academic Article


  • The first year of law school is chock-full of new experiences. Students can become overwhelmed in the face of so much change that they forget why they chose law school as a career path. They often lose sight of their end goal and need a touchstone to ground them back to their initial interests. Legal Research is the ideal first-year class to connect the acquisition of legal skills with interesting topics in a way that encourages students’ engagement in their present and future learning. By adding a student-selected subject context to their class, Legal Research instructors can incorporate contextualized learning and active learning techniques that improve student engagement and student learning. This article discusses the transformation of a generic, required, first-year legal research course into one that divides into four small (18–20 students) classes, each with one of four topics: patent, trademark and copyright, traditional practice, and social justice. In addition, it envisions future innovations to improve student engagement and student learning.
  • Authors


    Publication Date

  • April 3, 2018
  • Published In


  • contextualized learning
  • copyright
  • first-year class
  • legal research
  • patent
  • practice
  • social justice
  • trademark
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 75
  • End Page

  • 96
  • Volume

  • 37
  • Issue

  • 2