The case method is a primary teaching method (types of principles and methods used for instruction), which is used for teaching law in the law schools. In this method, cases are presented to law students, which put them in the role of a decision maker facing a problem. This method is accepted as an important method for training students, which is widely used in law schools.
It is expected that you will comprehend the law in all of its abstraction through a vital examination of cases that were decided according to some principles.
How it Works
For every class meeting, you will be assigned a number of cases to read. These cases are the written jury opinions rendered in court cases that were decided at the appellate level. Your casebook will contain neither explanations nor instructions. Your task simply will be to read the cases and be in a position to answer questions based on them. You may feel mislaid, probing for answers to tactic questions. This is not merely common, it is intended.
You have to also write case briefs of these cases, which is your attempt to recapitulate the issues around which a particular case revolves. Normally, you will take your class-notes and case briefs to prepare a case outline, which you will study for your final exams. Outlines, whether you prepare them in a study group, or you write them on your own, will be an intrinsic or vital part of this system. So, do not avoid them, your success or performance depends on it.
Benefits of the Case Method
The case method is extremely useful in –
- Developing Skills – It helps to distinguish properly between the circumstances where particular skills could not or could be applied through discussion of real-life situations. The skills could be developed by using different cases over a period of time or doing the exercise repeatedly.
- Acquiring Knowledge – Lots of knowledge is acquired in the case method that influences your approaches, techniques and concepts while grappling with a real-life situation.
- Behavioral Learning – Behavioral Learning is generally done during on-the-job training process. However, you can enhance it by supplementing the case method with the syndicate method (discussion in small groups).