Pre-Law Club Hosts Mock Law School Class for University Students

Class Uses Socratic Method, Often Used In Law School

boredelon-colorLegal studies and political science professor Gregory Bordelon taught a mock law school class for students interested in law School Monday, March 26. The class was taught using the Socratic Method, a popular way of teaching used in law school in which the instructor will ask the student questions to stimulate critical thinking and highlight the main ideas on a topic. Students attending the class came well prepared for the intense line of questioning.

Each attendee had a homework assignment before they entered the room. Two legal cases were emailed to each student who had to memorize the facts in the case.

The first case Fiocco V Carterdealt with a 1922 New York Court of Appeals case in which, a truck driver was on duty but took care of personal business instead of work related business. Then a child fell off of his truck and was run over. The court debated whether or not the employer of the truck driver was responsible for the boy’s injuries. Had the driver been doing company business, the company would have been held responsible.

However, the argument around the case was whether or not the truck driver was taking care of personal business or was he going back to the garage of his employment. The court decided that when the boy was injured, the driver was leaving a pool hall, which was a personal stop. The court found for the defendant, the truck driver’s employer.

The second case that was talked about was Webster v. Blue Ship Tea Room.A woman entered a restaurant in Massachusetts and asked for New England clam chowder. They were out of clam chowder so instead she asked for Fish Chowder. While eating the chowder the plaintiff swallowed a piece of fish bone which then became lodged in her throat. The Plaintiff sued the Tea Room restaurant for not informing her of the possibility of the bone being in the soup. The court decided that there was an assumption of risk and that the restaurant need not inform customers because fish chowder is a New England delicacy and that it is a tradition understood by the residents that there are “wholesome” fish in the chowder.

The class was viewed as a success by many of those who attended. Lexi Todd, a junior political science major who is planning to go to law school in the Fall of 2013, agrees, “The class was a great introduction to the style in which real first year law classes are conducted. It was a bit of a wakeup call to many of us unfamiliar with the Socratic method of teaching.” Students agreed that the class started by professor Bordelon was a great idea to try to give Monmouth Alumni a step up when it comes to dealing with law school.

Pre-Law advisor Professor Gregory Bordelon agrees that the workshop succeeded, “I believe it went great, the goal of the workshop was to prepare admitted students to law school as well as show underclassmen what law school entails.” Bordelon also believes it is very important to show students the seriousness which the law school environment portrays, “It is important to realize that law school is a very serious business, professors are preparing future lawyers who are going to be fighting to save people’s lives, or deal with multi-million dollar cases.” The class was a wakeup for any students who had glorified views of law school and they will now be able to see that through hard work they can do very well in law school.

On Tuesday April 10, another mock class will be taught to prepare students for the 1L final. If anyone is interested in attending Law School or needs advice please go see or email Professor Bordelon in the Political Science department. Those interested are invited also to join the Pre-Law club. Stay tuned for more exciting offers from the Pre-Law club and Professor Bordelon.

PHOTO COURTESY of Christopher Orlando