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Sperling presents at AALS

January 12, 2012

Professor Carrie Sperling, Executive Director of the Arizona Justice Project, recently gave a presentation, “Feedback is not a One-Way Street: Preparing Students for Embrace your Critiques,” at The Association of American Law Schools Annual Meeting held in Washington, D.C.

Sperling's presentation was part of a panel, “Legal Writing in the 21st Century: Practical Teaching Tips for Legal Skills Professors,” held on Jan. 8.

"Legal writing professors give students plenty of carefully crafted feedback," Sperling said. "However, despite our best efforts, we often describe our students’ reactions to the feedback as baffling. Some students, grateful for the feedback, use it to improve their writing, while others become defensive, dismissive, or despondent.

"Although students’ reactions may seem baffling, students respond to feedback in different, yet predictable ways. This presentation attempted to explain why so many students fail to use our thoughtful feedback to improve their writing. After discussing the psychological link between students’ mindsets and their responses to feedback, I provided suggestions for teaching students how to embrace feedback and enjoy the learning process."

Sperling teaches Legal Method, Legal Advocacy, and Advanced Persuasion and Creative Advocacy. Her scholarly writing incorporates research from various disciplines to improve advocates’ persuasive techniques.