The work of the Smart Casual project team has addressed an area of real need in advancing teaching excellence for casual teaching staff. This well-conceived project has already achieved significant progress by providing resources and initiatives backed by substantive research. The team is to be commended for their thoughtful and thorough approach.
The Council of Australian Law Deans (CALD) is following the progress of this project with considerable interest as all law schools are increasingly compelled to employ sessional staff. These development sessions will benefit not only the casual staff directly involved, but also indirectly the students who may come into contact with them. The real beneficiary here is the quality of legal education which can only improve as a result of Smart Casual Live.
The Smart Casual project has provided a number of benefits in the critical area of enhancing the teaching skills of sessional law teachers. The utilisation of sessional staff in law schools is unlikely to decrease and therefore focusing on skill-building for this subset of teaching staff is well-justified. Not only do these teachers directly benefit from professional development but the skills and expertise can be passed on to other staff, as well as to students who may themselves become sessional tutors in the future.
I thoroughly recommend this project and its resources, which are a model of how to develop resources for legal educators, and what professional development for legal educators should look like, in any jurisdiction