Book review: Flipped Classrooms for Legal Education, 1st ed. Lutz-Christian Wolff, Jenny Chan, Springer

Date01 January 2020
Published date01 January 2020
Book Reviews
Flipped Classrooms for Legal Education, 1st ed. Lutz-Christian Wolff, Jenny Chan, Springer, 2016
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world
—Nelson Mandela
It is often said that change is the most constant thing and with changing times the mode of imparting
education should also change. The book Flipped Classrooms for Legal Education is on similar lines as it
makes a compelling case for this modern approach of learning. The book is based on the outcomes of a
study project ‘Flipped Classrooms for Legal Education in Hong Kong’, and it presents the pros and cons
of the flipped classroom model with reference to the traditional methods like the lecture and Socratic
Method. It also highlights the reason why flipped education is referred to as the way of providing
personalized education to all kids and the feasibility of this model if employed in the legal education.
Even the authors have stated their work as a pilot study which attempts to explore Flipped Classrooms
in its various dimensions (p. 5).
The book is comparative in nature as it discusses the challenges faced by legal educators as well as
students in Australia, the UK and the USA. It mentions that law schools are slower in embracing
technology as compared to other disciplines (p. 2) citing an example of the UK, the book states that the
rise in the number of law students has been around 60 per cent as compared to previous two decades.
This has cranked the library spaces. Even the supply of books has been unable to cope with this rise. The
authors make the reader wonder if flipped education is a solution to this challenge as it calls the present
age as the digital age and the modern students as the digital natives.
The book is broadly divided into seven chapters and has tried to showcase the current status of flipped
classrooms in legal education, pedagogical viability of flipped classrooms in legal education, different
forms of flipped classrooms and technical and cost related constraints of using flipped classrooms. It also
reports a case study where name institution adopted the flipped classroom concept for course on ‘The
Law of International Business Transactions II’. Various types of teaching methods, their comparative
advantages and disadvantages form the body of the book.
The authors assume that traditional lecture method is not a suitable method of teaching law, at least if
not combined with other interactive methods (p. 16). Modern students are self-directed, they do not find
passive learning engaging enough. Hence, the learning style of modern students should be ‘three
dimensional’. This predominant method of teaching in Australia, the UK and the USA (p. 18) fails to
foster critical thinking in the students. Though the method conveys the information effectively—
especially if the students are at the beginner level of learning, this method affects the reasoning and
analytical skills at a later level of learning. The book even gives reference of Appleby’s teaching
Asian Journal of Legal Education
7(1) 82–87, 2020
© 2019 The West Bengal National
University of Juridical Sciences
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/2322005819889706

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