Legal Educator in Residence Howard E. Katz was the lead presenter on the October 14 webinar sponsored by the AALS Section on New Law Professors. The topic was The Art of Choosing Textbook for Your Course: Ideas to Help You Approach This All-Important Decision. His co-panelists were Dean Sean Scott of California Western School of Law, Professor Paul Figueroa of the University of New Mexico School of Law, and Nancy Soonpa of Texas Tech School of Law; section chair Professor Timothy Duffy of Suffolk University Law School was the moderator.
The webinar addressed the challenges, especially for newer professors, of choosing the right casebook and course materials for first-year, upper-level, and legal writing courses. Various criteria, including the coverage and clarity of the book, congruence with one’s teaching style, progression of material, being a short-case or long-case professor, quality of advice in the teachers’ manual, inclusion of review problems, financial burden to students, and institutional politics were among the topics considered.
Attendees were given a handout based on a chapter of the book Strategies and Techniques of Law School Teaching, written by Professor Katz and Professor Kevin F. O’Neill. The webinar was recorded and is available on the AALS website.