Harvard law school case study

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Legal Case Studies i start making assessments early in the case and then give myself time at the end to prepare a judgment. Ebola research paper Case studies - The Law Society 'the cases themselves may be complicated but i am used to that in my practice as a solicitor. Nursing case study stroke patient Short case studies on team building Cover letter for bank teller supervisor. Legal Case Studies 's cases and codes section contains resources and links for both state and federal laws.

Legal Case Studies studies of all levels of the judiciary are available on the jac website. Case studies - The Law Society 'case studies: recorders in the following case studies, solicitors write about their experience of becoming a judicial recorder: case study 1: heather baucher 'i've been a recorder in criminal law for more than three years and i love the work. But what it does is narrow. Law is viewed as a public contest with winners and losers, and students are trained "more for conflict than the gentler arts of reconciliation and accommodation," as former law-school dean and Harvard president Derek Bok wrote 20 years ago.


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But most lawyers put a premium on negotiating, interviewing, and counseling skills. Others require the ability to develop options or strategies. Even litigators must first engage in fact-finding. Because these skills are not well taught by the current version of the case method, many schools have developed separate, freestanding "lawyering" courses and legal clinics. And that raises perhaps the deepest concern. As a second-year student put it: "If you can 'think' like a lawyer, does that mean you can 'act' like a lawyer?

Gay, its first dean, wrote in the inaugural catalog that professors would employ "an analogous method [to the 'case method' used at the Law School], emphasizing classroom discussion, supplemented by lectures and frequent reports, which may be called the problem method. In the early years, courses were general and descriptive "Economic Resources of the United States," "Railroad Organization and Finance" and taught primarily through lectures from the economist's point of view.

Case Method

The situation remained largely unchanged until the appointment in of a new dean, Wallace P. Donham, a graduate of Harvard Law School who later practiced law and had taught corporate finance at the business school. His background led him to see strong parallels between the two professions.

In a article, he observed that the use of cases in law schools was made possible by "the vast number of published decisions, the thorough classification of the subject [by instructors], published case books, the elements in the typical law case, and the development of general principles from the discussion of individual cases. Of these elements, all, with the exception of the reported cases themselves, exist or may be supplied for teaching business.

Case Studies

Business-school faculty therefore needed to develop cases of their own. But Donham recognized that these cases would have to be different from legal cases. For businessmen, the primary tasks were making and implementing decisions, often in the face of considerable uncertainty. In keeping with the then-prevailing philosophy of pragmatism, cases should describe real problems and students should be able to practice sizing up situations and deciding on appropriate action. For this reason, he said, a business case "contains no statement of the decision reached by the businessman With these ideas in mind, Donham moved quickly on several fronts.

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He persuaded Melvin Copeland, a noted marketing professor, to change his planned textbook to a collection of business "problems. Donham also orchestrated a series of informal faculty discussions about the school's methods of instruction. These meetings led to a broad commitment to case-method teaching and, in , a formal faculty vote that officially changed the name of the school's approach from the "problem method" to the "case method.

Once a critical mass of materials was developed, Donham disbanded the bureau and insisted that the faculty as a whole assume responsibility for developing cases. Within the business school, cases had become the dominant mode of instruction by the mid s, and acceptance was equally swift outside. By casebooks had been adopted by 85 institutions.

Harvard faculty members helped the dissemination process by publishing books on the case method in , , , , , and , and offering seminars and case-teaching workshops. The most visible was the Visiting Professors Case Method Program, funded by the Ford Foundation between and , in which more than faculty members from leading business schools spent entire summers at Harvard researching, writing, teaching, and improving a case of their own.

Today, business schools around the globe teach by the case method. Modern cases retain the same basic features described by Donham. Typically, they average 10 to 20 pages of text, with 5 to 10 additional pages of numerical exhibits. The best cases describe real, not fictitious, organizations and real business issues. The information is often deliberately incomplete, allowing for many possible options.

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Students are normally assigned one case per class. Preparation is guided by assignment questions, which have become increasingly detailed over time. Thirty years ago, the focus was on action, and virtually the only question was, "What should Mr. Smith do? Students still come to class with a recommended decision and implementation plan, but also with extensive supporting analysis.

Because of the workload—most cases take at least two hours to read and prepare, and two to three classes are scheduled per day—students often form their own three- to four-person study groups to share ideas and divvy up responsibilities. Instructors prepare much as students do. They too read and analyze the case and prepare answers to assignment questions.

But they attend equally to orchestrating class discussion most effectively. In this, they have help. All instructors who teach first-year courses, a mix of newcomers and old hands, are organized into teaching groups—collections of five to nine faculty members, led by an experienced professor, who teach the same subject and use the same cases. These groups meet regularly to analyze the cases and discuss classroom management. Detailed teaching notes present both the required analysis and likely discussion dynamics; most teaching notes even contain "blackboard plans" showing the best way to organize students' comments on the five blackboards in the typical business-school classroom.

Classes begin either with a "cold call," as at the law school, or a "warm call," in which a student is given notice a few minutes before class that he will be asked to speak. The opening question—usually one from the assignment—typically requires taking a position or making a recommendation. Since as much as 50 percent of their grade is based on class participation, most students come well prepared.

The opening student normally talks for five to 10 minutes with occasional interruptions by the instructor. Once he is done, instructors typically throw the same issue or question back to the class for further discussion. Throughout the class, a primary goal is to encourage student-to-student dialogue.

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For this reason, business-school professors tend to pose broad, open-ended questions far more than their law-school colleagues do, and to link students' comments by highlighting points of agreement or disagreement. They also are more likely to seek commentary from experts: students whose backgrounds make them knowledgeable about a country, a company, or an issue. Instructors are also more likely to provide closure at the end of a class or unit, with a clear set of "takeaways.

In most classes, debate revolves around a few central questions that prompt conflicting positions, perspectives, or points of view. Carl Kester, chair of the M. The best questions involve issues where much is at stake, and where the class is likely to divide along well-defined lines.

At times, they bring a difficult choice to life: "This new business requires completely different marketing and manufacturing skills, even though the exact same customers will purchase the product. Do you want to set up an independent unit, or put the business within an already established division? That, of course, is how managers spend their time. They regularly size up ambiguous situations—emerging technologies, nascent markets, complex investments—and make hard choices, often under pressure, since delay frequently means loss of a competitive edge.


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They work collaboratively, since critical decisions usually involve diverse groups and departments. And they discuss their differences in meetings and other public forums. Cases and case discussions thus serve three distinct roles. First, they help students develop diagnostic skills in a world where markets and technologies are constantly changing. Second, case discussions help students develop persuasive skills. Management is a social art; it requires working with and through others. The ability to tell a compelling story, to marshal evidence, and to craft persuasive arguments is essential to success.

It is for this reason that the business school puts such a heavy premium on class participation. Beyond grading, students also receive regular feedback from professors about the quantity, quality, and constructiveness of their comments. Third, and perhaps most important, a steady diet of cases leads to distinctive ways of thinking—and acting. Delay is seldom an option.

Harvard Law School Student Studies Light Pollution Case Law for IDA

Both faculty and students cite the "bias for action" that results—what Fouraker professor of business administration Thomas Piper calls "courage to act under uncertainty. Roland Christensen and Abraham Zalesnik, now Matsushita professor of leadership emeritus, "is his willingness to take risks, to decide upon and implement action based on limited knowledge.

But it also raises concerns. At times, courage is difficult to distinguish from foolhardiness. Competitive information may be unavailable; technologies may be underdeveloped; employees may be untrained or unprepared. Sometimes the wisest course of action is to wait and see.

The case method does little to cultivate caution.

Casebook method - Wikipedia

Decisiveness is rewarded, not inaction. Students can become trigger-happy as a result, committed "to taking action where action may not be justified or to force a solution where none is feasible. Persuasiveness is valued—but not publicly changing one's own mind. Few students do so in the course of discussion; if anything, positions tend to harden as debate continues. Skilled managers, by contrast, try to stay flexible, altering their positions as new evidence and arguments emerge. Increasingly, the case method is being used to teach sophisticated techniques like valuation, forecasting, and competitive analysis.

These techniques are essential to modern business literacy and are required for employment at investment banks, consulting firms, and large corporations. But they come with a price. They have a methodological line of attack and a single, preferred, right answer. They are exercises in applied analysis. The challenge is compounded by the continued influx of Ph.

That leaves some professors wondering: how do we continue to teach the art and craft of management? For most of the twentieth century, medical schools followed the model proposed by Abraham Flexner in a report to the Association of American Medical Colleges in The first two years of medical school were devoted to basic-science courses in biochemistry, anatomy, pharmacology, and other core disciplines.