Lincoln Memorial University Law Review Archive

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"The War Story as Essential Pedagogy: Construction, Telling, and Use” deals with an unexplored area of law school instruction, namely, how to translate the practical and practice-based experiences of full-time law school professors and law school adjunct professors into useful classroom lessons that students are empowered to carry with them into their legal careers. The article addresses the resistance to any instructional method other than the Socratic dialogue, outlines those objections and responses, and explains why war stories are valuable instructional tools. The article asserts that war stories are an untapped natural resource, present in abundance at all law schools, and should be mined. The article, therefore, proposes their mandatory inclusion in class syllabi.In providing an actionable guide for professors, the article’s multi-disciplinary approach delves into the power of storytelling in general; the actual construction of an effective story, borrowing concepts from the diverse fields of filmmaking, cognitive science, medicine, and business; and illuminates the integration of the war story into class materials. Examples are given of war stories from various legal experiences; it explains how to draw lessons from these stories; and concludes with a personal war story on my learning—for the first time—the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the practice of law.

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