This fall, three professors, Jessica Gabel, Corneill Stephens and Leslie Wolf, will teach new or enriched courses designed to enhance students applied or experiential learning.
The three professors received three $11,000 teaching innovation grants this summer to design or revise their courses as part of a pilot program. Faculty submitted proposals, which were evaluated based on the overall quality of the proposed course, the number of students served and the degree to which course components may be transferrable to other courses.
"This program encourages innovation in teaching and enhances our curriculum by introducing novel and significant simulation or experiential components," says Steven J. Kaminshine, dean and professor of law. "Georgia State Law prides itself on fostering an environment of collaboration. These grants help faculty members enrich their course offerings, allowing students to further refine the necessary skills to become successful practicing attorneys."
Gabel' course Bankruptcy Litigation, Negotiation and Practice will give students experience in handling consumer bankruptcy cases. Working with local practitioners and bankruptcy judges, students will represent a client throughout the bankruptcy procedure.
"This course gives students a great opportunity to represent clients while being mentored by a group of phenomenal and experienced lawyers," Gabel says. "With that opportunity comes immense responsibility, and I think it’s important that students get a taste of that early on in their careers. This is the type of blended curriculum that we should be providing, and the grant is an amazing way to get this project started."
Stephens proposed a course that introduces students to various types of contracts and teaches them the principles of drafting a contract — including form, style and language. Members of the bar will present various contracts and drafting issues to the class.
"Currently, there is no course in our curriculum that allows students to develop and hone their skills in reviewing, interpreting and drafting legal and contract documents," Stephens says. "My ultimate objective is to enable students to analyze the basic structure of contracts and help them develop the macro and micro techniques to create contract documents - whatever type or nature — with precision and clarity."
Wolf used the grant to evaluate and revise the Health Law Quality and Access course, incorporating experiential learning.
"As I was teaching the course, I realized that there were several opportunities to tie experiential learning directly to the classroom material," she says. "With the grant, I will identify skill-based activities that extend organically from classroom reading to help reinforce the material and expose students to the wide range of litigation and nonlitigation activities that health lawyers perform."
Georgia State Law will have another call for proposals in January.