Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Learning the Law in Perfect Harmony

As most bar exam takers already know, songs can be effective ways to reinforce and retain important legal concepts. (BAR/BRI’s property instructor Paula Franzese, in particular, is well-known for her musical interludes during video lectures.)

We’ve previously blogged about AudioCaseFiles, a source for auditory learners to hear, rather than read, the text of their casebooks. We’ve also recently covered the text-to-speech feature of Index to Legal Periodicals, which allows users to convert legal journal and newspaper articles into downloadable MP3 format. But the Goodson Blogson has never covered a legal source that sings to you— until now.

The Law School Academic Support Blog recently pointed to Law Lessongs, a project of UConn Law School professor/musician/obvious They Might Be Giants fan Mark DeAngelis. DeAngelis has put some of the most fundamental legal concepts to the tune of adult contemporary hits, folk songs, and some original compositions. Check out the bouncy ode to “Due Process” as an example.

The site organizes available songs by legal topic, and also provides lyrics and commentary. While the songs are mainly intended for other law school professors to use as a supplement to class discussion, tunes like “The Business Organization Song” (outlining the differences between partnerships, limited partnerships, and LLCs) can certainly be understood without further explanation. And if you just can’t get enough, DeAngelis links to law songs in popular culture as well as those created by other academics.