One of the most frequently-encountered lecture techniques in 1L (first year of law school) courses is known as the Socratic Method. In short, it involves the professor/lecturer asking a series of pointed questions of a student, seeking to reveal any flaws in the student’s position, or gaps in the student’s knowledge. Needless to say, for the uninitiated (or underprepared) it can be a harrowing experience.
Now, we have already examined the Socratic Method at length here, both in terms of its general nature and its specific application to law school, noting pros and cons, student views, and even how you can prepare yourself for professors employing it. So I’ll spare you any redundancy and simply encourage you to read that article, and instead use this post to make you aware of another great resource for those interested in learning a bit more about the Method itself.
A recent post on the Washington University School of Law Blog delves into the history of the Socratic Method, presenting an interactive timeline that guides students from its inception in ancient Greece to present-day usage. I highly encourage you to check it out!
The Socratic Method is an integral, and interesting, facet of law school, and understanding its history will better help you succeed when you inevitably encounter it. Then, once you’ve had a chance to familiarize yourself with the wealth of information provided by us and by Wash U, leave us a comment below with any thoughts or questions you might have!
Photo: “Socrates Statue at the Louvre” courtesy of Derek Key.