Stacey-Rae Simcox, who is director of Stetson’s Veteran’s Advocacy Clinic, used a Stone Soup assignment in her Trusts & Estates course. This is a great illustration of how faculty can use Stone Soup in almost any law school course, not just traditional ADR courses.
As an extra-credit assignment, 45 out of 67 students conducted interviews about people’s experiences with a significant estate settlement.
The subjects could include parties in an estate settlement (e.g., a child, spouse, or other relative), attorneys who represented a party in the case, or estate administrators or personal representatives. Students interviewed people in a variety of these roles, mostly attorneys. All but five of the students could find people to interview on their own. Stacey-Rae helped those students find people to interview, generally Stetson alumni.
The cases covered a very wide range of issues. Some cases went well. Others could be included in casebooks.
She set aside time for 10 students to give brief presentations in class (for additional extra credit) and she didn’t have time for everyone who wanted to present.
She told me that this was a “hugely valuable” exercise. It was an “eye-opening” experience for the students and the feedback was amazing.
She plans to use the assignment again in the future and can’t think of anything she would change.
Stacey-Rae appreciated that we had developed materials for the assignment so that she didn’t have to re-invent the wheel. Here’s her assignment, with questions specifically about the subject matter, parties, context, process, and subjects’ assessment of the case.