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Seb Anthony

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Accelerated Learning


I am looking at improving the quality of legal training that my organisation delivers. I am very interested in accelerated learning and have used the principles effectively in a few programmes that we run. However, a vast majority of our training is on legal subjects such as the sexual offences act 2003, racially aggrivated crime, courtroom advocacy skills etc. Has anyone any ideas how you can use accelarated learning in these types of courses? at present they consist of a general lecture on the new law and then a case study followed by a plenary session. As you can imagine very dry. Any tips would be greatfully recieved.
Craig Mitchell

3 Responses

  1. Accelerated Learning
    I have borrowed from AL for legal training rather than being purest. In a similar context to yours we had a vibrant training room with backround music to set the tone and posters covering tips on the law and how to think about particular cases. We got people in teams to address different real cases and ‘discover’ how the new legislation works. The teams could ‘buy’ a limited amount of professional advice from the trainer and, of course, search the posters for clues and ideas. At the end they had to present back their findings in the case. We experimented with different ways of doing this but having one or two people in the team doing a serious report back on the legal rationale for their decision worked well in conjunction with another two or three acting it out or presenting it visually with colourful graphics.
    In another programme we recreated a tribunal or a court – great for advocacy skills – but also valuable to experience things from the different perspectives of judge and defendant too.
    This was not only more interesting for the delegates (and us), the concrete results were better than with the more traditional approach too.
    On a different programme I am just about to try out tailor-made messages in fortune cookies at the coffee break. It is amazing what you can get these days.
    Perhaps just one note of caution. I was doing this for civil cases. In sensitive cases such as sexual assault I might be inclined to use fictitious cases and make sure that enjoying the learning process doesn’t tip in too close to frivolousness.
    Hope this helps

  2. Accelerated Learning in Legal Training
    Hi Craig, it certainly can be a challenge, however I’ve seen this kind of training designed and delivered very successfully. Amoung the methods that have worked are setting up a ‘mock’ court or having the learners create physical representation of key cases and legislation. There are many more approaches depending on course on the content and the learners.

    There are several prinicples to keep in mind but for learning such as this the two that seem most vital are the learners state – all learning is state depended and there’s significant opportunity to improve state with this kind of learning – and creation not consumption. Taking any opportunity to allow the learners to develop their own meaning and value for the information has a huge impact with legal training.

    I’d be delighted to share more hints and tips. Do drop me a line or give me a call.

    Best regards,


  3. Cluedo for Construction Law
    I ran a very successful and well received session as a one-day induction to construction law for a nationa firm. As an example the exercises we used included:

    Cluedo on construction law contracts – with teams pitting themselves to match the type of contract, with the correct administrator, documents and key certificates

    Odd One Out – where teams had to determine the minimum requirements for the housing grants acts (both payment and adjudication)

    Project Line Up – where the group were given a single activity and then asked to sort themselves out into the order in which the tasks had to be completed, as well as guessing when (roughly) they would be done from the start of the project.

    The whole session was energetic and participative and we had excellent feedback. One of the organisers had quite serious misgivings initially (about the fact they were lawyers) but it went down tremendously well.

    Dr Emma


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