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Unpublished Paper
Enhancing the Teaching of Lawyering Skills and Perspectives through Virtual World Engagement
  • Andrea M. Seielstad
Virtual worlds are vast, unstructured immersive three-dimensional environments well-suited for a wide array of real-world applications. Educators from around the globe are rapidly utilizing and transforming such worlds with innovative teaching strategies. While legal educators have been a bit behind the curve in utilizing such spaces, thus far, there is great potential for their innovative use in law teaching. Substantive courses, including property, torts, criminal law, and intellectual property, among others, may be brought to life and enhanced in new ways through applied exercises conducted in virtual worlds. However, virtual worlds are especially good places to teach fundamental lawyering skills and perspectives as well. Mediation and dispute resolution, and associated communication and problem-solving skills, are particularly well-suited for virtual world engagement, as are other lawyering skills such as interviewing and counseling and trial advocacy. Combined with other platforms, it would even be possible to utilize virtual worlds in clinical courses aimed at solving both virtual- and real-world problems. This article describes a project developing and teaching dispute resolution skills to law students conducted in a virtual world called Second Life™ over a period of 4 years. It summarizes some of the unique opportunities and features available in virtual worlds and describes a number of considerations in determining whether to integrate virtual world experience into law teaching.
  • Virtual Worlds; Lawyering Skills; Online Dispute Resolution; Alternative Dispute Resolution
Publication Date
Fall October, 2011
Citation Information
Andrea M. Seielstad. "Enhancing the Teaching of Lawyering Skills and Perspectives through Virtual World Engagement" (2011)
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