A new book names Donald Thomas Hornstein, Aubrey L. Brooks Professor of Law, one of only 26 “best law teachers” in the United States. The book, “What the Best Law Teachers Do” (Harvard University Press, 2013), is the culmination of a four-year study that sought to identify extraordinary law teachers. The study details the attributes and practices of professors who have a significant, positive, and long-term effect on their students.
“The book describes how 26 amazingly dedicated and dazzlingly effective law teachers do their work,” says Michael Hunter Schwartz, dean and professor of law at the UALR William H. Bowen School of Law, who co-authored the book along with Gerry Hess of Gonzaga University School of Law and Sophie Sparrow of the University of New Hampshire School of Law.
Each chapter in “What the Best Law Teachers Do” focuses on a theme common to all of these outstanding law teachers: what personal qualities they share, how they relate to their students, what they expect of their students, how they prepare for class, how they teach, and how they provide feedback to their students and assess their students’ learning.
“The teachers who are profiled in the book work at law schools that represent the full spectrum of U.S. News and World Report law school rankings, yet the core of who they are and what they do is quite similar,” Hess says. “All of the teachers we studied are regarded as being among the most rigorous professors at their law schools who have high expectations of every student, yet they also are known for their kindness to their students. They foster self-confidence in their students and inspire in them a belief that they are capable of great things. They get to know their students as people and manifest caring and respect for their students. These teachers model hard work, creativity, and humility.”
-September 19, 2013