John Lande continues to build out the DRLE website with useful information. The most recent addition is a section of the website devoted to multi-stage simulations, with classroom exercises, role plays, and a variety of other materials for those interested in incorporating or expanding their use of multi-stage simulations.
Probably most of us use a lot of single-stage simulations, where students enact one part of a process, such as the negotiation or mediation of the ultimate issues in a case. Single-stage simulations provide multiple opportunities for students to enact different roles and focus on different issues. A disadvantage is that these simulations usually are fairly brief and thus students may have a hard time getting into their roles and simulating realistic dynamics.
Multi-stage simulations make it easier for students to get into their roles, enable them to deal with more complex situations, focus on specific stages in a process, see the connections between various stages, and generally have a more realistic experience. In my classes, the quality of the interactions and student learning seemed to be exponentially higher than in the single-stage simulations. Of course, they take more time and there haven’t been many multi-stage simulations available.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both types of simulations and there is value in using both types in a course.
As you plan your courses for the fall, you might take a look at the material on the website and consider whether you want to use these materials and ideas in your courses. There is no standard format of these materials and you may want to read descriptions of various simulations even if you aren’t interested in the particular subject. For example, Susan Exon’s material includes detailed instructions for a student assignment, Lauren Newell’s material describes several variations she is considering, and Andrea Schneider’s material includes debriefing questions.
There are virtually an infinite number of ways you could do this, depending on the subjects of the cases, the skills you want to focus on, and the logistics, among other things. For example, some of these simulations involve client interviewing, developing relationships with counterpart lawyers, planning for discovery, legal research, planning for and conducting negotiation or mediation, and writing settlement agreements, among others. Some simulations have only two stages and others have more. Students can do some of the activities outside of class, thus preserving valuable class time.
I am very grateful to our colleagues who wrote the following descriptions of their simulations. If you want to get their materials or advice, please get in touch with them using the emails in each document. I would like to add more material to the website, so if you use a multi-stage simulation, I invite you to write up your description and advice to post on the website. As you will see, these are pretty brief, so it shouldn’t take a lot of time to read them.
Suggestions for Using Multi-Stage Simulations in Law School Courses – John Lande, University of Missouri
Various Multi-Stage Simulations – Alyson Carrel, Northwestern University
Probate Dispute Simulation – Sarah Cole, Ohio State University
Employment Dispute Simulation (whistleblower retaliation) – Ellen E. Deason, Ohio State University
Employment Mediation Simulation (constructive discharge) – Susan Nauss Exon, University of La Verne
Negotiation and Drafting Simulations – Paul F. Kirgis, St. John’s University
Dispute System Design (court rule requiring good faith in mediation) – John Lande, University of Missouri
Divorce Simulation (property and child support) – John Lande, University of Missouri
Divorce Simulation (domestic violence) – John Lande, University of Missouri
Employment Discrimination Simulation (national origin) – John Lande, University of Missouri
Partnership Agreement Negotiation Simulation – John Lande, University of Missouri
Probate Dispute Simulation – John Lande, University of Missouri
“DONS” Simulation – Lauren A. Newell, Ohio Northern University
Generic Mediation Simulation – Bob Randolph, Carr, Swanson and Randolph, LLC
Divorce Simulation (parent relocation) – Andrea Schneider, Marquette University
Labor-Management Collective Bargaining Simulation – Sandra Sellers and Jane Juliano, Georgetown University