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Legal Education at Aspen Publishing Blog
Legal Education at Aspen Publishing Blog

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Announcing the Connected Casebook random
Announcing the Connected Casebook
Vice President, General Manager Earlier today we announced the launch of the Connected Casebook, our most exciting new initiative in several years. You can read the formal announcement here. The Connected Casebook is a "digital first" approach to textbook publishing for the law school market. We have designed the "digital first" approach in response to consistent requests from law students for the kinds of experiences that can be better achieved through digital media than print media. Here are a few examples: Students crave more continual and informative feedback throughout the semester. In many classrooms today, students have to wait until the final exam to have a really clear sense of where they stand. Today's students have grown up in a world in which they receive huge volumes of continual feedback in everything they do, whether from teachers, websites, mobile phones, or from their peers. They are most comfortable when they can have an ongoing sense of how well they are performing, where their strengths and weaknesses are, and where they may need to devote deeper attention as they progress through the class. This kind of responsive, personalized feedback is something that digital media is ideally suited to deliver. Students are looking for tools that adapt to their skills and goals. By tracking each student's progress, a well-designed digital environment can efficiently present the right material at the right time. Students are looking for lighter, more portable casebooks . . . this desire is self-explanatory for anyone who has ever held a law book! To meet these and similar requests by students, we spent the last two years working with hundreds of students and dozens of faculty to design what we hope and believe is an extremely effective digital learning environment. The digital component of the Connected Casebook supports three activities every law student engages in to succeed in class: Read. Students get a complete ebook version of their casebook, with lots of useful tools that are designed specifically for law students, including highlighting in multiple colors, adding notes that appear in the margin, and searching for case names. For select titles, the ebook also contains links to law simulations that help the student develop an understanding of how to apply the material they are learning in a real-world law firm environment. Study. Students have access to a Study Center filled with thousands of questions (multiple choice, hypotheticals short answer, issue-spotting exercises, flash cards, and practice essay), explanatory videos, and text explanations (from series like Examples & Explanations and Emanuel Law Outlines), all mapped to key sections in their casebook. The Study Center gives students a powerful new tool to ensure they master the material. Outline. Students can build a class outline for the subject matter as they read the casebook, automatically incorporating their notes and highlights from the book directly into their outline tool. They can edit and format their outline online or export it to Microsoft Word®. Based on the extremely positive response by the law students who helped us test and refine this platform over the past summer, we feel that we are well on the way to meeting their vision of an ideal learning tool for law classes. But we also heard loud and clear from students and faculty during our research that they are not yet ready to move to a purely digital world. Faculty and students still treasure many aspects of their print casebooks, and some faculty still do not allow computers in the classroom. For this reason, we designed the Connected Casebook as a "digital first" approach, not a "digital only" approach. Along with the digital platform that I describe above, students who buy a Connected Casebook will also receive a rental version of the print textbook for the duration of the class term. The Connected Casebook rental textbook works like the majority of other rental programs for undergraduate and law students today: the student receives a book by mail, marks it up during the semester, downloads a return label, and mails the book back at the end of the semester (or the year, in the case of a full-year class). Rental textbooks have been an established and thriving industry for many years now, with most of the major retailers and bookstore chains participating and significant uptake by law school students on every campus. In fact, though the Connected Casebook is the first time we are promoting rental textbooks ourselves, our own books have been rented for years without our direct involvement by the major retailers and chains. The movement towards rental options has been driven largely by students, who appreciate the affordability of rentals and who often no longer wish to keep their books after the class is over. Many students do want to keep their books, of course, and they continue to purchase traditional non-rental books. We have designed the Connected Casebook to marry the best of the traditional (authoritative print casebook) with the best of what is emerging (responsive digital learning) . . . and we are making it available at approximately 25% less than traditional textbooks through online retailer BarristerBooks as well as affiliated campus bookstores. (All law school bookstores were given the option to affiliate.) We are also continuing to offer the traditional non-rental version of every title in the Connected Casebook program through bookstores and online retailers. Students will make the choice of which option they prefer. As of today, 11 Connected Casebook titles are available across a number of key courses (see the full list here). Beyond this initial launch, we plan to listen closely to feedback and requests from classes that use the program, and evolve the offering by adding a lot more functionality to the digital component that will help both faculty and students in their daily lives. I believe that over time, more and more students and faculty will come to find the digital half of this program to be by far the more valuable. We are already receiving extremely positive response from authors, adopters, and students (as well as some useful critiques!). Here is what law students and professors are saying: "The ability to highlight and have things automatically saved in an outline is very helpful and time efficient."Austin H., Student, University of Arkansas, Little Rock "I love the interactive component. It facilitates learning and preparing for the final all semester long instead of cramming knowledge in at the last minute."Patricia W., Student, University of New Mexico School of Law "I love that it makes it so the book is SEARCHABLE. That is GOLDEN. I also love the look of the outline feature!"Lindsey W., Student, University of La Verne College of Law "CasebookConnect completely changes the law school reading, note taking, and outlining process. It is a game changer."Mohammad P., Student, University of Virginia School of Law "The Connected Casebook makes me want to be a law student again."Douglas J. Whaley, Professor Emeritus of Law, The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law "The Connected Casebook brings together a smart combination of learning resources – casebooks, study aids, websites, and more – in a convenient format designed for today's digitally-oriented students. I believe this is going to make everyone in the classroom more successful . . . students and faculty alike."Alfred L. Brophy, Judge John J. Parker Distinguished Professor of Law, UNC School of Law "As a result of seeing the Connected Casebook, I will now allow digital devices in my classroom."James Underwood, Professor of Law, Baylor Law School "The Connected Casebook can transform casebook-based legal education by providing meaningful content connected in real time for the student in a highly accessible way. This innovative platform will affect in-class discussion, review session and office hour questions, and exam performance, by allowing students to tap into the network of ideas and information in a guided and valuable way. It does not simply make learning easier, it can make it better."Tracey George, Charles B. Cox III and Lucy D. Cox Family Chair in Law and Liberty and Director, Cecil D. Branstetter Litigation & Dispute Resolution Program, Vanderbilt University Law School
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Wolters Kluwer's Legal Education "Leading Edge" Conference random
Wolters Kluwer's Legal Education "Leading Edge" Conference
Vice President, General Manager From July 14 to 16 this year, Wolters Kluwer hosted our first ever legal education Leading Edge conference in Riverwoods, Illinois. Leading Edge is an unusual approach to meetings for the law school community. We invited twenty leading thinkers and innovators in legal education from around the country — faculty or deans who have made significant advances in how their law schools connect with and cultivate today's students — and gathered them together for three days in a small informal meeting center outside Chicago. Given the tremendous changes that all who are involved in law schools are experiencing, our goal was to convene a candid and insightful discussion about how law schools should be seeking to evolve. But in order to ensure that the discussion was collaborative and free-ranging, we didn't set a firm agenda in advance. There was no keynote speaker; no morning general session; no planned breakouts. Instead, we ran the conference as an "unconference", which means that the agenda was decided by the participants once they arrived. How did we do this? Although many of the discussions at the conference revolved around how to better leverage digital media, our approach to planning the agenda was actually quite a throwback! We put up a white board, with time slots and meeting rooms delineated. Then conference attendees wrote ideas for sessions they wanted to host on index cards and posted them on the board. Because the people at the conference were all passionate about legal education, within twenty minutes the white board looked like this: Once that was done the conference proper began. For each time slot, everyone browsed the options and chose the session they were most interested in. The session leader would get a sense of who was in the room, and then begin a candid, collective discussion designed to hash through the basics of the topic and then brainstorm compelling ideas for how to improve legal education moving forward. All discussions were governed by a version of Chatham House rules, which meant that while everyone was encouraged to share ideas and opinions that we learned at the conference with colleagues from the outside world, we couldn't share who it was who said them. This relative confidentiality encouraged everyone to speak candidly and thoughtfully about topics that can be difficult to discuss in home contexts. As it turned out, the Chatham House rules were one of the elements of the conference that people enjoyed most. Over two days, the sessions were wide-ranging, intense, and extremely fruitful. Here are a few examples of what was discussed: MOOC-Mania: How technology enhanced education is changing the face of higher education Dealing with faculty status issues during times of economic crisis Changing how we assess students What is legal ed for? What's its purpose? Who should be given it? The changing market for entry level employment for law graduates and its implications for the academy Gender in legal advocacy The (somewhat dismal but not necessarily as bad as some say) state of legal education What law schools can learn from architecture schools What makes a good casebook/course book (or do we need them at all?) Teaching Millenials from the nineteenth century law curriculum How will changing demographics of law students impact law schools and the legal profession? Teaching "soft" skills in "hard" classes What the rest of the university can learn from the law school experience The Big Picture — 7 observations about legal education How mindset can promote change in legal education The changing legal academy: Does one size fit all? 21st century classrooms — Designing spaces for learning/flipped teaching How should law schools be "forming" professional identity in a changing market We had plenty of time set aside for socializing and relaxing together as a group. There were some very nice dinners under a tent with really good food and ever better jazz, and some overly competitive bocce and cornhole games. Between sessions people continued the discussions informally, getting to know each other's thinking and building lasting ties. For those of us at Wolters Kluwer, it was an extremely useful experience — we learned a tremendous amount about law school goals and challenges from the inside. For the faculty and deans who attended, according to their feedback it appears to have been a rewarding and special time as well. We are working on a way to share some of the key conclusions of the conference in a written form with anyone who is interested, so please follow this blog to stay abreast of progress on that front. The first Leading Edge conference was so rewarding that we have already begun planning for the second annual conference in July 2015. We'll keep news about that event updated here.
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Wolters Kluwer's Legal Education Student "Leading Edge" Conference random
Wolters Kluwer's Legal Education Student "Leading Edge" Conference
Vice President, General Manager On November 14, Wolters Kluwer Legal Education hosted the first ever invitation-only Leading Edge summit for Law Students. Inspired by our productive Leading Edge conference for Law Faculty in July, Leading Edge: Law Student was an attendee-driven forum for brainstorming what the future of legal education should look like from a student's perspective. We had much curiosity heading into the conference: how different would the students' perspective on the future of legal education look from that of the faculty? As it turned out, that was the wrong question. The students, in their rich and probing discussions, differed from faculty not so much in what they agreed as future goals — stronger practical education, smoother paths to employability, greater diversity, all of which both groups spoke about intensively — but in what they considered the how of how to get there. There was extensive discussion by students, for example, of the intricacies of how financial aid works, specifically the risks of their being pushed out of financial aid as a result of a poor first semester. It's clear that financial anxieties can so dominate many students' lives that money — rather than lack of access to clinics or externships — is viewed often as the primary hurdle to employability. Balance was raised often as well. It's clear that many law students, while enthusiastic about all of the options that their law schools offer — clinics, moot court, law review, advanced electives and more — are also deeply uncertain which choices to make to best position themselves for a successful career, and are perennially anxious that whatever choices they make leave them vulnerable when compared with students who make different ones. Two examples of how the same topics (employability, experiential education), motivated by the same underlying concerns (successful life outcomes for law students) suggest markedly different challenges to faculty (how do we expand the number of clinics and externships? how can we expand financial aid?) than to students. There was also fruitful discussion on ways to better integrate digital solutions into the classroom (in which there was essentially unanimous interest), how to better connect with and leverage alumni, and how to work with administrators to drive more kinds of diversity among the student body (for example, greater diversity of sexualities). The format of the conference, similar to that of the summer's Leading Edge faculty conference, was unconference. The attendees were presented with an empty white board containing 27 meeting slots over two days. Students collaborated to brainstorm session ideas, volunteered to lead discussions, and penciled in their session idea on the board. (picture) Then the attendees built a meeting schedule for themselves based on their interests and the conference began, run entirely by law students. Attendees came from 19 different law schools from every region of the country. The discussion was extremely stimulating, and the group enjoyed building lasting connections, not least over bowling at Legacy Place. For us at Wolters Kluwer, as "flies on the wall", the event was extremely informative, and is certain to become a recurring event.
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New Purchase Options for the Connected Casebook random
New Purchase Options for the Connected Casebook
Vice President, General Manager I am very pleased to announce an expansion of the ways that law students will be able to purchase access to our popular CasebookConnect website, which we launched last summer under the aegis of the Connected Casebook program. Until now, CasebookConnect access has been available only in conjunction with a rental book. Starting in fall 2015, all formats of titles in the program – rental and other formats – will include access to for no additional cost.  Before I outline the new purchase options, I’d like to give an overview about CasebookConnect and share some of the market reaction to the website, gathered from surveys and customer interviews we have conducted over the past year.   CasebookConnect has three main components: A richly functional ebook version of the casebook, allowing students to take notes in the margin, highlight text in up to six colors, search the full text of the textbook, and more  A powerful study center, containing hundreds of explanations, videos, exercises, and assessment questions drawn from WK’s library of study aids (including Examples & Explanations, Glannon Guides, and Emanuel products), collectively helping students develop a strong understanding of complex topics from the casebook  An efficient outlining tool, allowing students to build on their ebook notes and highlights to rapidly construct their own semester-long outlines In aggregate, the tools we have designed in CasebookConnect are intended to help every law student—regardless of their incoming level of preparedness—succeed in even the most challenging law school classes.   You can read more about the features and goals of the website at During our survey process this past year, we asked students how useful they found each individual feature in the website, as well as the website as a whole. Here is what students had to say about CasebookConnect:   “This was one of the best experiences I've had with a casebook. . . . The ebook was really easy to use and made my finals so much easier with the notes and highlighting being transferred to a running outline.” —Jason K., Law Student   “It allows me to always have my book with me, and not to have to lug a huge book to school all the time. It's also easy to copy and paste text into my notes, and that makes briefing case and keeping up with outlining much easier. I hope to use it for other textbooks.” —Kaitlin W., Law Student   “Well organized. Loved all the different angles and opportunities to reinforce what I learned during reading and through the study center.” —Cindy C., Law Student   “It was really handy to have the book online and a physical copy. I go to school in NYC and commuting with a heap of books is the last thing I want to do, but being able to read the textbook at home and leave my books at school was great.” —Andrew N., Law Student   Overall, law students who used the product this past academic year have consistently found CasebookConnect to be an extremely useful and effective tool. In fact, the major critiques we have consistently heard from students are: Why can’t I have a website like this for all of my books? Why can’t I buy this website along with a non-rental book? Today I am pleased to announce that we are responding to both of these needs. In today’s post, I will focus on the second.  (I will address the first in a subsequent post.) Beginning in July, students will now be able to purchase CasebookConnect in three ways: In combination with a standard purchased casebook, In combination with a rental casebook, or In combination with a looseleaf version of the casebook.   Despite the great value that students have found in the CasebookConnect website, the casebook-plus-CasebookConnect option will be sold at exactly the same price as the casebook was previously sold for on its own. The rental-plus-CasebookConnect and looseleaf-plus-CasebookConnect options will be sold at discounted levels, reflecting the lower manufacturing cost of those options. Here’s an example showing the new purchase options for Property, Eighth Edition by Dukeminier, Krier, Alexander, Schill, and Strahilevitz. Original textbook purchase (without CasebookConnect access) New textbook purchase plus CasebookConnect access Looseleaf plus CasebookConnect access Rental plus CasebookConnect access $234.00 $234.00 $208.00 $194.00   The pricing model has been designed to ensure that those students who continue to prefer a traditional purchased textbook can have the benefit of a rich digital learning companion at no additional cost, while students who are searching for discounted options have high quality choices as well. The new traditional and looseleaf purchase options will be available to students through bookstores and online retailers. The rental plus CasebookConnect option will continue to be available primarily at With this new set of purchase options, we look forward to helping an even broader set of law students have access to a range of tools that empower them to find academic and professional success.
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Welcome to the New random
Welcome to the New
The Legal Education division of Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. has launched a brand new experience at, our e-commerce and information website. We have made a number of helpful improvements to the website to better serve our customers.
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The Aspen Advisor Week in Review for March 30, 2018 random
The Aspen Advisor Week in Review for March 30, 2018
The big news this week was the wealth of bar passage data recently released by the American Bar Association. It provides a comprehensive picture of which law schools’ graduates are acing the exam, and which are struggling. You can see how your school performed in the article, “Bar Pass Rate Bonanza: The ‘Ultimate’ Law School Rankings.” And, speaking of education, we mourn the passing of Linda Brown who as a child was denied the right to attend an all-white school in her neighborhood, which led to the landmark school desegregation case, Brown v. Board of Education. You can read more about her life in the article, “Kansas girl at center of 1954 school segregation ruling dies.” Legal Education News Bar Pass Rate Bonanza: The 'Ultimate' Law School RankingsBaylor University School of Law posted the highest ultimate bar pass rate—all 109 of its 2015 grads who took the bar passed over the span of two years. The University of Detroit Mercy School of Law had the lowest ultimate bar pass rate in 2015, at just under 57 percent. 12 Law Schools Where Students Had High LSAT ScoresEach of these top schools boasted a median LSAT score of 168 or higher, according to U.S. News data Are Fewer People Going to Law School? State's 3 Law Colleges Report Enrollment Drop Since 2011After hitting a 41-year low in 2015, law school applications are up 9.5 percent nationally through the end of January compared to the same time last year, according to the Law School Admissions Council. Experiential Learning Law Students Help to Mend Puerto RicoNatalie Trigo Reyes, J.D. '19, Lee Mestre, and Andrew Crespo '08, assistant professor of law, led a group of Law School students to Puerto Rico over spring break to offer legal aid to residents and help rebuild their homes and communities. Law Students At Elite Law Reviews, Diversity Efforts May Be Paying OffRecent diversity efforts might be paying off as more students of color take the helm at prestigious law reviews. Other Interesting News Kansas Girl at Center of 1954 School Segregation Ruling DiesLinda Brown, who as a Kansas girl was at the center of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down racial segregation in schools, has died at age 76. Duty to ProtectThe California Supreme Court has determined public colleges in the state must warn and shield their students from potential violent acts. Experts say the ruling could have nationwide implications. How This 24 Year Old CEO Is Changing Education Through MicrotutoringIs microtutoring the future of the education industry? The Aspen Advisor Week in Review is a collection of interesting articles from the past week that pertain to Legal Education. Some may be especially relevant to law professors and others to law students. Many stories focus on the pedagogical, technical, and financial innovation occurring in law schools today. We hope that these articles inspire you.
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