Games and Exercises

For decades, scholars have written on the educational impact of games in the classroom. One 1992 study found that games are particularly well-suited for subject matter that allows for the teaching of discrete and targeted content. (See Josephine Randel et. al, The Effectiveness of Games for Educational Purposes: A Review of Recent Research, 23 SIMULATION & GAMING 261 (1992).) In a clinical legal setting, games offer a fun and interactive way to teach the precise legal jargon that can be so critical to success in practice. Below, we outline one game—based on the popular word game Taboo by Hasbro—that can be used to help students learn legal vocabulary and grow comfortable using it. I learned it from Kris Collins of New York Law School at an Institute for Law School Teaching conference. Kris describes the game as a “no fail exercise” that everyone loves, and I agree—it has been wildly successful overall. I have used it in a children’s law clinic, an immigration legal services clinic, and most recently in an education pedagogy seminar.


Do Something Do Nothing

The Block Exercise