, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 33-51
Date: 25 Mar 2010

Paratexts as Praxis

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Our essay charts out the pedagogical, technological, operational, institutional, commercial, and theoretical implications of moving from a print-based casebook paradigm to an electronic course book model. Central to this venture is what we call the Conceptions Course Book (CCB), the law school course book of the future. That e-book is, as we discuss, the end product of an entirely new and sophisticated process of creating and distributing materials (textual, audio-visual, and interactive) to be used in law school courses. This process allows professors to develop (in an I-Tunes-like manner) their own custom-designed course books in efficient, economical, and innovative ways best suited to their pedagogical concerns. Unlike proposals for computer-based e-books, our CCB would be designed to take advantage of the unique opportunities offered by more advanced versions of e-readers such as Amazon’s Kindle, the Sony Reader, or Apple’s I-Pad.

This essay is an outgrowth of a Workshop on the Future of the Legal Course Book that we co-chaired with former Dean Edward Rubin of Vanderbilt Law School and former Dean Kellye Testy of Seattle University School of Law, held at Seattle University on September 27, 2008. We are especially appreciative to the following participants in that workshop, among others, who helped shape our thoughts: Kraig Marini Baker, Marilyn Berger, Matthew Bodie, Maggie Chon, Peggy Davis, Steve Friedland, Gene Koo, Paula Lustbader, Bill McCoy, John Mitchell, Richard Mixter, John Palfrey, Dennis Patterson, Michael Schwartz, Greg Silverman, Keith Sipe, Joel Thierstein, and David Vladeck.