The Newsletter contains information on case studies and role plays to help you plan upcoming courses that actively engage students in participant-centered learning.

HLS Launches Case Studies Program

Harvard Law School is dedicated to promoting hands-on learning on its own campus and in the greater legal education community. To that end, HLS has launched a new program to develop and distribute case studies, role plays, hypothetical problems and other experiential tools for the classroom. The centerpiece of the program is the Harvard Law School | The Case Studies website. The site is designed as a one-stop-shop for all participant-centered teaching tools developed and sponsored by HLS. "We have dozens of exciting case studies on the site," explained Lisa Brem, Case Studies program manager. "From a problem-solving case on a landlord's dilemma to a role play dealing with union negotiations, to a business case on the merger of a top law firm, our cases cover a wide variety of subjects and engage students in the classroom." HLS is currently using custom-designed case studies in its Problem Solving Workshop, a required course taught to all first year students during January term. The Problem Solving Workshop immerses students in real world dilemmas, as they work in teams to investigate issues, produce memos and briefs, present findings and opinions to practicing attorneys, and actively solve problems. Educators looking to use case studies in their courses can register on the site and download teaching notes and free review copies of any product. For more information contact Lisa Brem at

Advanced Problem Solving in Cyberlaw 

Roughly 40 students participated in Jonathan Zittrain's and John Palfrey's ground breaking Advanced Problem Solving workshop in Cyberlaw and Intellectual Property at HLS last spring. The student feedback was universally enthusiastic and supportive of this experimental format. One student wrote: "It was a true privilege to take a course this fun and interactive with Professors Palfrey and Zittrain." Another wrote: "I cannot stress enough that this class has been the highlight of my HLS experience." Students from the Kennedy School of Government, the Schools of Engineering and Arts and Sciences, and the Harvard Law School participated.The professors, with help from the Berkman Center and the Case Study Program developed six "torn from the headlines" case studies on topics such as intellectual property strategy, IP aggregation firms, online piracy, legal issues in disseminating sensitive or classified information,interoperability, and gamification. Visiting Professor Susan Crawford will teach the class at HLS this coming fall. If you are interested in teaching a similar class, or would like to review the case materials, contact Lisa Brem, Case Studies Program Manager, at

Case Development Initiative Names New Dechert Fellow

Nicholas Haas, a graduate from the University of Michigan, has been named the new Dechert Fellow for the Case Development Initiative (CDI), a group affiliated with the HLS Program on the Legal Profession and dedicated to furthering the case study teaching method in legal and professional education. Nick will be working with Professor Ashish Nanda to write case studies about the dilemmas law firms face as they develop effective organizational strategies. CDI case studies are used worldwide in legal and business classrooms, executive education courses, and corporate training programs. Current CDI cases cover topics including mergers and acquisitions, business organization and strategy, professional development, leadership, team dynamics, and crisis management. All CDI cases are available for download on The Case Studies website. "I'm incredibly excited to be at HLS and continue the work of the Case Studies Initiative," said Haas. 

Negotiation & Mediation Role Plays Now Available

The Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP) is leading the way in teaching students practical skills to help their clients in negotiation, mediation, dispute resolution and conflict management. The program has created a catalog of role plays, all of which are now available on The Case Studies website. "Role plays and simulations are the primary way that HNMCP teaches conflict management skills," said Chad Carr, Clinical Instructor at HNMCP. "We are excited to share our resources with others who are teaching these critical skills," added Professor Robert Bordone, HNMCP Director. Professor Bordone has also developed a DVD set (still in beta form) that provides negotiation coaching and instruction in three critical domains: Openings and Process; Dealing with Difficult Tactics; Active Listening and Effective Assertion. Practicing attorneys negotiate a licensing agreement and participate in a review of their performance.
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