Solved! — A Tool for Today’s Experiential Legal Education?

(Bordwin ’55 recently published Solved!, a book about how a business lawyer can solve clients’ problems “strategically — with creativity and imagination.” Below are his reflections on the book)

This is the saga of a business lawyer who, after decades of practice, learned that he’d gained a reputation as a problem-solver and now, at age 86, has written a book of 40 Tales describing how he solved the most vexing problems clients threw at him over a 60-year career.  Early manuscript readers told me they enjoyed reading these stories, but the lawyers who read the MS all had the same reaction:  “This is a must for law students and young lawyers.”  And this from a U.S. Senator; a Federal Appeals Court Judge; law school professors; a law school dean; and a large-firm corporate lawyer.  I asked law professors for clarification.  They told me that these Tales of my experiences fit into today’s law schools’ movement toward “experiential legal education.”  I had to find out what that was all about.

Turns out that my annual judging Ames Competition cases and participating in the HLS Problem Solving Workshop Program were a small part of this experiential education movement; today’s curriculum at HLS (always a leader!) includes Dispute-Resolution; Drafting; Negotiation; Clinical Work and more; and this experiential education direction is now mandated by the ABA as a condition of a law school’s accreditation.  Since my lawyer readers were unanimous that SOLVED! is an educational tool that will help law students transition into practice, I had to understand the “why” and “how” of this relation, if any, between my Tales and legal education today.  More precisely, the questions are:  “What are law-teachers’ goals?  Can my experiences as related in the Tales help in achieving those goals?  And if so, how?” Continue reading Solved! — A Tool for Today’s Experiential Legal Education?”