Myth-Busting the Learning and Teaching of the Postal Acceptance Rule

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearch


Myth-Busting the Learning and Teaching of the Postal Acceptance Rule
Lawyers and legal educators are familiar with the Postal Acceptance Rule. Generally speaking, the Postal Acceptance Rule is an exception to the general rule that acceptance of an offer must be communicated. The application of the Postal Acceptance Rule, which is limited to certain circumstances, determines that acceptance of an offer occurs upon posting. Some wonder why contract law teachers still teach the Postal Acceptance Rule given that, with the rise of electronic communication methods, use of the physical post is now rare. As a contract law teacher, I have heard of our alleged “old-fashioned and outdated” teaching of the Postal Acceptance Rule. The sentiment appears to be that teaching a potentially outdated rule is itself outdated. However, this could not be further from the truth. Students are often asked to engage with the Postal Acceptance Rule in the context of modern technology. This results in a technologically informed and contemporary discussion. Further, working with the law to apply, or exclude to apply, the rule, including in modern contexts, assists students to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes associated with complex legal reasoning. This is already well understood by my fellow contract law teachers. Rather than focusing on the law, this paper focuses on the typical learning objectives associated with the teaching of the Postal Acceptance Rule, and how contract law teachers tend to achieve these objectives. This paper hopes to bust the myths about the teaching of the Postal Acceptance Rule by explaining the educational strategies adopted by those who teach it. It is also hoped that this paper will inspire a conversation among the wider population of legal educators — what are the commonly misunderstood and contemporary learning opportunities in other law subjects?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 30 Sept 2022
Event2022 Professional Legal Education Conference: LawTech, Newlaw and NetZero: Preparing for an Uncertain Future - Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia
Duration: 28 Sept 202230 Sept 2022 (Conference Program)


Conference2022 Professional Legal Education Conference
Abbreviated titleCPLE Conference
CityGold Coast
OtherEmergent technologies such as artificial intelligence and digital robotics, new business models, and the impacts of climate change will transform the profession, transform its community interactions, and change the way we practise and teach law.

As legal professionals and legal educators, how do we prepare for this uncertain future and provide our stakeholders with the tools to navigate change? What new models for the delivery of legal services and education will best help us, our students and our communities navigate change? What can the legal profession do differently in response to a vastly different and rapidly changing world?

The CPLE and Actium.AI Pty Ltd jointly hosted this conference to provide the answers to these and other questions, exploring our place in an unknowable future.

Thought leaders shared new perspectives on:

- Practical legal skills training
- Law student and lawyer wellness and resilience
- Legal technology and ethics
- New legal technologies including AI and Robotic Process Automation
- Legal education and legal tech training
- Future methods of legal services delivery
- Legal technology and compliance obligations
- ESG, law and legal practice
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