4.25.2012

Law Professor Honored for Advancing Legal Education Practices

Regent University School of Law's Professor Benjamin Madison was recently named a fellow of Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS). Madison was selected for this honor because of his role in advancing legal education, specifically related to the State Civil Procedure Course he developed and teaches at Regent.

IAALS is a national, independent research center out of the University of Denver dedicated to the continuous improvement of the process and culture of the civil justice system.

Madison authored a casebook Civil Procedure for All States that incorporates what is known as the "Carnegie model." This model goes beyond the traditional teaching method in many law schools—known as the "Socratic Method"—to provide students with the practical experience and ethical training they need to be successful attorneys later on.

"The students' role in the class (as defined by the book) is that of a junior associate in a law firm and the professor is the senior partner to whom they report," Madison explained. "Thus, my role is to mentor as I teach the various stages of a case."

Madison's casebook and teaching style were influenced by two recent studies on deficiencies in law school teaching and, while he's confident that Regent Law is already on the right track, he wants to continue to expand the opportunities for his students.

"The emphasis on helping students form ethically before entering law practice has been one of our goals for years," Madison explained. "Our Professional Responsibility course teaches that lawyers can rise above the minimum standards of the ethics rules of a state and practice with integrity. My effort simply is to amplify what I've seen my peers doing."