Tuesday, September 16, 2008

For Law and Fun

All sorts of "law and" movments have popped up over the years—law and economics, law and literature, law and sociology, and so forth. Each has its merits, and each has its acolytes. Were I to choose a "law and" movement, though, I think I'd opt for law and fun.

For one thing, the study of law and fun would probably prove, well, fun. All else being equal, in my book, fun represents a prima facie good. Perhaps not all else is equal, granted; fun sometimes seems to come at the cost of respectability, which, though it often strikes me as overrated, seems pretty important to a lot of people.

Fun offers more than just intrinsic charms, though: It also serves Very Important—indeed, I daresay, respectable—pedagogical goals. Making a lesson fun can make it more easily understood and remembered. Yesterday, for instance, I took my guitar to school and played a couple of songs for my students. My Agency and Partnership class heard, "Sensible Khakis," a song that celebrates entrepreneurs and explains some principles of business formation. In Torts I, my students heard, "I.I.E.D.," a song that walks through the elements of intentional infliction of emotional distress.

If that sounds a bit too wild and crazy to you, you might take consolation in the fact that I performed in a suit and tie. And instead of a laser light show, I played to the accompaniment of PowerPoint presentations—complete with explanatory notes! Geeky? A little, I guess. But it's not a "fun and law" movement I advocate; the "law" part comes first. Or, if I might coin a Jesse Jacksonism, "You've got to put the 'school' before the 'cool.'"

[Crossposted at Agoraphilia, MoneyLaw, and College Life O.C.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You know, I wish I could have been in your class when you were having your LawFun sessions. My philosphy when adding lessons at home with our boys is, "If it's not fun, how is it EVER gonna make an impact on them?" So we get in a goofball mood and have at it. You were wearing a shirt and tie and that's reasonably respectable. I say throw caution to the wind and have at it!! :)