Tinderbox Weekend: Tom Lowe and Gordon Christie
In yet another fascinating Tinderbox Weekend talk, Tom Lowe and Gordon Christie addressed the shortcomings of legal education. They argue that the case system of legal education, while not without strengths, leaves students ill-equipped for the actual practice of law; in particular, Prof. Christie observed the importance (and scarcity) of innovative and critical thinking before it’s time to file an appeal.
Here’s a closeup of a small part of their example Tinderbox, which explores contracts and the uniform commercial code (UCC). More ambitiously, they’re working on a Tinderbox map that recapitulates, in essence, the full semester of Commercial Paper.
And here’s another snapshot of my copious but inadequate notes. We see here the aspect of Tinderbox weekend I enjoy most: the free movement between pragmatic technical detail (using color and shape to clarify spatial hypertexts) and broad intellectual concerns (reforming legal education so that new-fledged lawyers would more often know what they were doing). Of particular interest here is the proposal to encourage students to build practical frameworks that they can use not merely to prepare for classes and examinations but that will also serve them well when taken into their new legal practices.