08 January 2009

Lectures and Case Law

With classes back in session at NLU I’ve been much busier. No surprise there. On Wednesday I presented my take on the functions, goals, and problems of a market-oriented political economy. A couple of students appeared interested, a couple dozed; the rest were polite. About the same as at Regent. Thursday, Dr. Singh gave an overview of contract formation, necessitated both by the youth of the students (this is only their second semester) and the non-use of textbooks. Despite his profession o Marxism, Dr. Singh is no more radical than the left-leaning law Profs of my heyday in law school. Of course, that was before Anthony Kronman and Richard Posner hit the bookstores and law-and-economics became all the rage. I spoke for a few minutes about the case approach that I would use on Friday. They’ll read a lightly edited version of that staple of U.S. contracts classes, Lucy v. Zehmer. I’m also going to introduce them to the Restatement of Contracts. I’ll need to work up some extra hypos because I usually spend only half an hour on this case.

I wrote earlier that professors at NLU generally teach only two classes each semester. However, I failed to mention that most classes meet for 50 minutes five times a week. I also believe this extensive “face time” is due to the auditory approach of Indian legal education. Most classes are divided into two sections, both taught by the same professor. The effective teaching load is thus significantly heavier than at Regent.
I also sat in on Professor Shasthri’s jurisprudence classes. He’s beginning the course with Lon Fuller’s chestnut, The Case of the Speluncean Explorers. It’s a good place to start and suffice it to say that Indian students aren’t shy about expressing their opinions. Their penchant for judicial activism is typical of most American law students (although not of as many at Regent).

Off to the market this afternoon to buy extra food for a number of the faculty members who’ve we invited to eat with us at the NLU Guest House. Getting in some good socializing with as many folks as possible is a large part of what make a Fulbright worthwhile. If any of you would like to come just let me know; we’ll sit down to eat Friday evening at 7:30 (a bit early for Indians but about as long as we can hold out).

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