This essay provides insights into the benefits (and some of the challenges) encountered when two relatively seasoned legal writing professors decided to collaborate in their first-year legal writing courses. The essay, in self-deprecating candor, describes how my colleague and I leveraged our individual strengths to improve our legal writing students’ learning experience. Along the way, a friendship, born of deep respect, was formed.

Collaboration defined simply is no more than “a process of working with others to accomplish something.”[1] To that end, collaborative teaching, i.e., team teaching is typically two or more faculty members working together to develop instructional materials. Collaborative teaching is far from new and seems to have gained traction as secondary and post-secondary educators are realizing the benefits of diverse voices in classroom instruction.

While not intended to be an exhaustive study of the topic, the essay does provide some important context for utilization of collaboration. Specifically, the first section provides background information about collaboration—what it is, its various types and functions, and some of its benefits and challenges. The second section discusses the specific model that my colleague and I used and why this particular collaboration model works for us. Finally, the article concludes extolling the utility of collaboration as a multi-faceted tool for new and more seasoned faculty members—a tool that will not only help to educate our students but will also help to build community with those students and amongst colleagues.

No task is too great, no accomplishment too grand, no dream too far-fetched for a team. It takes teamwork to make the dream work.

—John Maxwell

[1]. Douglas C. Orzolek, Collaborative Teaching: Lessons Learned, 66 Coll. Teaching 124, 124-29 (2018).

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