Why Do Law Students Like CALI Lessons?

The front page of the CALI website has a place that randomly displays comments we get from law students. There is a place for students to submit new comments (link here) and there is also a link on every single CALI lessons that sends us an email right from within the lesson itself.

Many of the comments we receive are amazingly positive and tell us that the work we do with faculty authors is having a positive impact on student learning.

Here is a sample of comments we received in the past couple of weeks.

"…CALI is an excellent resource for the law student, or even, like me, the recent graduate studying for the Bar Exam. In conjunction with my regular bar study courses, which track mock-exam results by subject and topic, CALI’s topic-specific learning modules help me to focus on exactly what areas I need to in order to increase my performance stats – and to succeed on the Bar Exam…."

We don’t design CALI lessons to be specifically useful for passing the bar exam, but obviously any good legal education tool will serve that purpose. Some years back, we changed the way that CALI lessons are produced so that they are shorter and smaller for exactly the reasons that the student mentions.

"…CALI Lessons, have a way of fine tuning my skills while I am preparing for finals!!…."

This is an especially gratifying comment. You don’t often hear students speak of "fine-tuning" their skills.

"…Finally, after sifting through hundreds of pages in text books, I get to the pod cast on Parol Evidence Rule, and walah, the "intent" of the "rule" crystallizes. A breath of fresh air. Thanks! Podcast most helpful….."

This student is referring to a podcast we produced at a blog we call CALI Radio. We will be adding more interviews with law faculty that cover particularly knotty legal concepts.

"…Last semester I used CALI often. It’s a great way to keep studying when you just can’t seem to look at books anymore. The Civ Pro lesson on Party Joinder was excellent. I did it multiple times and felt very prepared for my Professor’s notoriously difficult multiple choice questions. When grades came out I got an A — Yea CALI!…."

Emphasis mine.

Here we have a student who used a single lesson multiple times. Many students don’t realize that the lessons are built with branches so that if you run the lesson multiple times, you may see different questions based on your answers.

"…CALI lessons are a great trouble-shooting device. They help me work out any remaining kinks in my understanding of a certain area before taking exams….."

Legal education is difficult and complex sometimes. This student uses CALI lessons to "troubleshoot" areas to flesh out their understanding. Exactly what they are designed to do.

"…When I walk out of an exam, the first thing I say to my peers is "total CALI" because I know I got the highest grade in the class thanks to this website….."

In this comment, the student is talking about "CALI-ing" a class which refers to the CALI Excellence for the Future Award that is given to students who receive the highest grade in the class. Over 90 law schools participate in this free program. Interested schools should contact me, John Mayer (jmayer@cali.org) to get signed up.

The award program has resulted in CALI becoming a verb in the legal education lexicon.

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