Adjunct Law School Faculty Resources

Adjunct faculty and lecturers play a vital role in legal education and in students’ lives. AALS is pleased to offer the resources below to help part-time law school faculty learn best practices, explore pedagogical methods, and deliver quality legal education.

AALS thanks Barbara Glesner Fines for her work creating and annotating the bibliography below.


Materials on Law School Teaching for Adjuncts

Past Adjunct Workshop Materials

Books & Articles

Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World,  Deborah Maranville, Lisa Radtke Bliss, Carolyn Wilkes Kaas, & Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, eds.

A follow-up from two classic critiques of legal education Roy Stuckey’s Best Practices for Legal Education and the Carnegie Foundation’s Educating Lawyers, the text is directed largely toward full-time law school faculty and administrators. Several chapters are useful for adjunct faculty, however, especially those teaching in law clinics, externships, and alternative clinical models. The book identifies ten essential areas of legal education, together with guidance on what and how to teach them.

Teaching Law by Design for Adjuncts 2nd Edition, Gerald Hess, Michael Schwartz, & Sophie Sparrow.

A compact but thorough guide to all aspects of teaching law. The book’s suggestions are grounded in educational research and apply a “backwards design” approach.  That approach begins with deciding what the students should be able to know, do, or believe at the end of the course and then back-tracks to design a course to get them there.  The book provides practical suggestions on planning a course: designing a syllabus, selecting course materials, and planning course sessions. Techniques for teaching focus on engagement and motivation and diverse teaching techniques. Finally, the text provides suggestions on evaluating student learning, including how to design and grade an exam. The book largely addresses classroom teaching but includes materials on experiential learning, lasting learning, and troubleshooting.

Teaching the Law School Curriculum, Steven Friedland & Gerald Hess, eds.

A compilation of tips and techniques arranged by subject matter and covering most required courses in law schools, as well as clinical coursework.

So You Want to be an Adjunct Law Professor? The Process, Perils, and Potential, Catherine A. Lemmer & Michael J. Robak.

This article details best practices for attorneys interested in adjunct professor work. It provides suggestions for professors to incorporate in their adjunct teaching to enhance their teaching experience and create a productive learning environment for students.

Statement of Good Practices by Law Professors in the Discharge of Their Ethical and Professional Responsibilities, Association of American Law Schools.

The Statement of Good Practices in the AALS Handbook details how law professors honor the professional ethics of law and the ethics of the institution at which they teach.

Strategies and Techniques of Law School Teaching, Howard E. Katz & Kevin Francis O’Neill.

The book provides a catalog of tips and strategies for teaching a traditional doctrinal course, focusing on dialectic methods.

Symposium on Seven Principles for Good Practice in Legal Education, 49 J. LEGAL EDUC.

A compilation of seven articles focusing on good practice in legal education, including a questionnaire for faculty reflection. An excellent overview of the basics of great teaching. Available through online legal research services such as Hein Online, JSTOR, Westlaw, and Lexis.

Faculty Inventories

A follow-up article – The Seven Principles for Good Practice in [Asynchronous Online] Legal Education, Kenneth R. Swift, (2018) – provides suggestions for applying the principles to online teaching.

Articles on Inclusive Teaching

Laura P. Graham, “Safe Spaces and Brave Spaces”: The Case for Creating Law School Classrooms That Are Both, 76 U. Mia. L. Rev. 84 (2021)

Anna P. Hemingway, Intentionally and Systematically Integrating Diversity Discussions and Lessons in the Law School Classroom During a Race-Conscious Era, 73 Rutgers U. L. Rev. 33 (2020)

Erin C. Lain, Racialized Interactions in the Law School Classroom: Pedagogical Approaches to Creating a Safe Learning Environment, 67 J. Legal Educ. 780 (2018)

Ellen Yaroshefsky, Waiting for the Elevator: Talking About Race, in Symposium: Race and Access to the Justice System, 27 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 1203 (2014)


Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction

CALI distributes computer-assisted law lessons for students, provides software to enable faculty to develop computer-assisted lessons, and sponsors an annual conference that examines a broad range of issues regarding technology and teaching in law schools.

Institute for Law Teaching and Learning

The Institute for Law Teaching and Learning provides a blog, annual conference, resources, and training and consulting services.

Holloran Center for Ethical Leadership in the Professions

The Holloran Center at the University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minneapolis) focuses on ethical professional formation in law. The Center working groups have produced resources for assessment and development of key skills essential to professional formation.

Online Resources

LibGuide- Teaching Tools for Law School Faculty (University of Minnesota Law School)

A comprehensive online bibliography of books and articles on teaching.

Blog- Best Practices for Legal Education

This blog was developed through the Clinical Legal Education Association as support and follow-up for current reforms in legal education arising from the publication of Roy Stuckey’s Best Practices for Legal Education and the Carnegie  Foundation’s Educating Lawyers.

Website – Legal Education, ADR and Practical Problem Solving (LEAPS) Project

LEAPS is a project of the ABA Section of Dispute Resolution’s Law Schools Committee.  The LEAPS website is designed to help faculty incorporate “practical problem-solving” (PPS) into their instruction.  The site includes descriptions of teaching techniques, examples, and resources.

Video – Lustbader, Zimet, Hess, Teach to the Whole Class: Barriers and Pathways to Learning

A powerful 30-minute video and accompanying materials as designed to address some of the barriers to teaching a diverse class of students effectively. The video features law students discussing their learning experiences, both negative and positive. Unfortunately, the accompanying written materials are out of print, however, the video is a useful tool for reflection and discussion.

Guidance for Law Schools Regarding Adjunct Faculty

ABA Adjunct Faculty Committee

The American Bar Association hosts an adjunct faculty committee designed for law schools to discuss improvement in utilizing adjunct faculty.  The committee resources include the following: