Encouraging Colleagues to Incorporate Practical Problem-Solving in Their Teaching

Some legal educators are reluctant to integrate PPS into their courses even though they think that doing so is generally desirable. If you think that there are colleagues at your school who might appreciate help and encouragement to incorporate PPS in their teaching, you might take these steps to help them:

• Familiarize yourself with LEAPS and its goals.

• Identify colleagues who might be interested in incorporating PPS in their courses. Think broadly across your faculty to include colleagues who teach clinical, legal writing, doctrinal, and transactional courses. Consider adjuncts. Note that there are some simple techniques that virtually any instructor can employ in any course without taking much, if any, additional time.

• Review our page on Overcoming Barriers to anticipate some of your colleagues’ concerns and get ideas about how to address them.

• Contact colleagues who are already interested in or open to teaching PPS and talk about the need for PPS teaching at your school. You can reach out individually, in small groups or by faculty presentations. Your outreach can be formal or informal. You can meet over coffee or lunch, in their office, or in the faculty lounge.

• Develop a plan with those colleagues to raise these issues with other colleagues. Encourage colleagues to set goals for themselves and your school, as well as realistic timelines to integrate some PPS into their instruction.

• Inform your colleagues that LEAPS has organized panels of subject-matter consultants who would be happy to assist them in developing PPS teaching materials for their areas. Panels are available for civil procedure, clinics, contracts, criminal law, family law, labor and employment law (including employment discrimination), professional responsibility, and torts (you can review all of the different subject areas covered at Subject Area Consultants).

• Invite colleagues to visit your class during a good example of using PPS in your teaching. Share course materials you have used in your class that might be helpful to colleagues who are looking for ideas and models. Visit colleagues’ classes and discuss possible options for incorporating PPS into their courses.

• Consult with your dean, associate dean, and/or curriculum committee. Ask them to sponsor, develop, or lead a faculty brownbag, workshop, or colloquium about PPS teaching methods.

• If you think that your faculty might be ready to make broader curricular changes to incorporate more PPS into the curriculum generally, review the Curriculum Models for PPS and consider if one of those models might be readily adapted for your school.