End Product: A single page color graphic that will be distributed both online and in hard copy. It is a teaching aid intended to convey to law students (well-educated, ages 21 to 25) that many different factors have to be considered in analyzing a legal problem.
The basic content of the graphic is a series of circles of 4 or 5 different sizes randomly distributed in a light frame. Small circles will signify small concepts; larger circles more important ones. Five colors will be applied randomly to the circles. Each color will represent a category of factors.
I have attached a photo that gives the general idea of the content of the graphic. The circles will not overlap. The frame will be full of circles with no obvious blank spots.
I would like the graphic to be lively and memorable. And it must clearly convey the basic idea that the factors taken into account in legal analysis are many and varied. Color selection will be important. The designer can suggest other elements that strengthen the basic message.
There will be a key or chart, outside or inside the frame, that identifies the category of factors that are associated with each color. Tentatively, these categories include: 1) traditional core elements of legal analysis; 2) accepted forms of legal analysis (e.g. reasoning by analogy, syllogistic reasoning, concern for future implications); 3) norms drawn from history, culture and social; 4) public policy; and 5) a miscellaneous grouping of “other factors”. The actual titles for each group will be shortened.
The graphic will have a title. Something like: The Components of Legal Reasoning.
Here are some of the thoughts I hope to elicit in students when they view the graphic:
“Wow, there is more involved in this ‘legal analysis’ than I thought.”
“Why are there different sizes of circles? What do those differences represent?”
“Who chose these categories?”
“Does this mean to say that things like cultural norms have the same weight as a legal rule? That doesn’t seem right.”
“This is pretty random and a little messy. What would it look like if I tried to give an organizational structure to all of these ideas? Would I organize these most important to least important? Or in a circular fashion with core concepts in the middle?”
“How is this relevant to the cases we read for class?”
“This is helpful.”
Just let me know if you have any questions.