Problem Solving Workshop modules
The Problem Solving Workshop curriculum is designed to expose 1L students to a variety of legal roles. Through decision-making, legal writing, and teamwork, students learn how to think like lawyers and solve a client's problem.
Below are Harvard Law School's 2014 PSW modules. Alternative cases are noted as well.
Each teaching unit can stand alone as a cohesive experiential component for existing courses; educators can also combine the teaching units on this page to create semester-long case studies courses, or can mix and match cases on this page for an abridged survey of the different teaching units.
This page will be updated as additional problem solving case studies are added to the collection.
For more information about PSW, see related blog posts:
For additional information, or to develop a custom case studies curriculum, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Introduction to Problem Solving
These materials can be distributed at the beginning of a problem solving curriculum; these materials may precede an in-class discussion about the problem solving philosophy or may simply serve as supplementary and preparatory information for students.
Learning goals: understand lawyering best practices; gain foundational knowledge of the skills developed throughout the course.
How to Approach a Case Study in a Problem Solving Workshop
Writing & Presenting Short Memoranda to Supervisors
Creating Collaborative Documents
Working for (and with) a Client
Learning goals: define the client; understand the client's goals and the lawyer's role; identify facts in legal problems; conduct a client interview; generate options; practice advising the client.
2. The Case of the Landlord's Dilemma
The Case of the Federal Defender's Advice
The Case of the Rent-Paying Tenant
The Case of the Anti-Bacterial Toys
Representing the Public
Learning goals: consider a lawyer's obligations and constituencies; exercise discretion in high-profile problems; draft advisory memoranda; practice presenting advice.
3. Balloon Boy
4. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
The Case of the Commissioner's Choice
The Case of the Section 8 Housing Vouchers
Planning a Transaction and Resolving a Controversy
Learning goals: apply problem solving and lawyering skills to resolve a client's problem; gain exposure to litigation, mediation, and negotiation.
5. The Case of the Medical Stent
6. The Case of the Encumbered Employee
The Case of Cross-Deputization