The Socratic method reloaded: How to make it work in large classes?
The Socratic method with its constant questioning poses a challenge to students, more so than any other teaching method. By the same token, it teaches law students what they need to know: legal analysis, critical thinking and verbal skills. In court, in the negotiation room, in the lecture theatre, a lawyer needs to be able to react to new allegations or novel arguments on the spot. Practice makes perfect. Where, if not at law school, is this practice supposed to take place? On the job would be too late as employers expect fully operational recruits from day one. Having said that, the Socratic method is not a panacea. The myriad of skills a good lawyer should be able to master can be best acquired by a mix of teaching styles.