UMass Law Librarians Emma Wood and Misty Peltz-Steele published an article in the Western New England Law Review about the benefits of open access teaching materials for law courses. The article, Open Your Casebooks Please: Identifying Alternatives to Langdell’s Legacy, provides a history of the traditional casebook, explores the concept of open education materials, and offers practical guidance for integrating low-cost, openly licensed material into legal education. The article also offers insight into the current state of casebook publishing and recent legislative efforts relative to open education initiatives.
In the article, Wood and Peltz-Steele present their research with a focus on the advantages of open education resources for students, faculty, and libraries. Open Access materials lessen the burden of expensive casebooks and help professors customize their teaching tools. The article urges the legal community to use open platforms to create a critical mass of user-friendly, quality open-source resources, thereby incentivizing academic professionals to both use open education resources and share their own materials.