Team Up with Your TA: Incorporating Late-Night TV Elements into the LRW Classroom

Document Type


Publication Date

April 2011


This article introduces an innovative pedagogical technique of strategically integrating the student teaching assistant into the legal research and writing (LRW) classroom dynamic. The technique incorporates established learning and educational psychology principles to foster a deeper, more effective learning of critical LRW skills.The article demonstrates how the TA’s in-class participation – including periodic, strategically planned exchanges with the professor (harkening the entertaining style of popular late night talk/variety shows) and occasional presentations – refreshes the students’ attention, enhances the professor’s presentation, keeps the class engaged, and promotes student-TA interaction outside of class. The technique taps the TA’s unique roles as former LRW student, student-peer, and bridge from the classroom to the law office, where LRW skills being taught today will be directly applied in the real world much sooner than fledgling 1L’s think. The article will be of value to new and veteran LRW professors, TA’s, and law professors who teach skills courses that utilize former students as TA’s.