The Harvard Crimson, amongst others, has recently sought to once again cast doubt upon the utility of the Socratic method in law school. Among the reasons for this doubt is the fact that the Socratic method seems to decrease female participation in class. While this may be the case, I agreed with Above the Law that the Socratic Method can be intimidating across the board and that focusing on gender seems misguided at best.
Cold-calling and putting students on the spot with difficult follow-up questions is not a wholly ineffective means of legal training. For those who plan to pursue trial or appellate work, thinking on one’s feet in the face of authority can be a valuable skill. If it is a professor’s aim to hone this skill in class, then by all means continue on with the Socratic method.