What makes a good law teacher? Is excellence in teaching largely a matter of intellectual brilliance, of superior organization and delivery of material, of friendliness and fairness to one's students? Or does it have more to do with style, with stage presence, with the ability to engage an audience in the act of reflective and spontaneous thinking?

While the question of how to define and evaluate teaching necessarily bedevils deans and tenure committees who must make personnel decisions, the focus on defining the competent teacher has obscured from faculty attention the more fundamental question: how can we implement a system to improve faculty performance across the board? It is this question that law schools around the country have not adequately addressed.

Three years ago, the faculty of Franklin Pierce Law Center adopted a program to improve our classroom teaching. This article describes and evaluates that program, in which all three authors played a role.

Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Legal Education

Document Type



Copyright 1999 Association of American Law Schools, Mitchell M. Simon, M.E. Occhialino, and Robert L. Fried.

Additional Information

The final version of this manuscript was published in volume 49, number 2 of the Journal of Legal Education. The manuscript was also made available as Paper 3 in the Pierce Law Faculty Scholarship Series by NELLCO (nellco.org).