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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 38, Number 25. 2nd October 1975

Aims of the method

Aims of the method

Socratic teaching is time-consuming for both the student and the lecturer of both class and private time. Thus it is a poor method of "covering an area of law." The time is justified by the belief that students need a more than just systematic comprehension of the legal system. They need to "think like lawyers," need powers of legal analysis, need to know how the law develops in order to change it. Prof Palmer adds that there are plenty of conservative moneyed interests out there in the world, and they will attack any attempt to curtail their privileges under law. Ralph Nader had to be more clever than GM to achieve change in the auto-safety law, and Prof Palmer had to beat the Insurance companies in order to introduce the Accident Compensation law. Socratic method hopefully starts students thinking more clearly, so as to prepare them for the rough world they are hoped to ameliorate via "social engineering."