St. Mary's University

Coloring book offers law students new learning method

Law students taking Secured Transactions need not dread this code-heavy course any longer thanks to a newly published … coloring book co-authored by St. Mary’s University School of Law Professor Colin Marks this fall.

To make the subject more approachable, Marks and his co-author Marc Roark devised a creative way to show students the basic principles of secured transaction law. Disclaimer: Crayons not included.

“It was fun but in some ways more challenging than a typical research project,” Marks said. “Rather than just writing, we had to really put some thought into, not just what sort of activities would help students learn, but also what the visual artwork should look like.”

Traditionally, Secured Transactions introduces students to the complexities that can arise with loan or credit transactions in which a lender maintains a security interest in collateral owned by the borrower.

Color Me Secured: Exploring Article 9 is a playful, but accurate representation of the material law school students will see in their Secured Transaction classes.

The book is designed to help students visualize some  key concepts and to understand how the Uniform Commericial Code regulates actions by secured creditors.

“Our illustrator, Dave Spear, is fantastic, and he really did a good job of working with us to make this project come to life, while keeping it lighthearted,” Marks said.

Roark reached out to Marks with the idea to make a coloring book in Spring 2006. The two spent the next few months developing exercises to convey the core ideas, and Color Me Secured was born.

Published in September, Color Me Secured is available on Amazon.com for $19.99. (ISBN 978-0-692-92791-5)

“Our hope is that, at a minimum, professors will feel comfortable recommending the book to assist students,” Marks said. “But we also think this makes a good required supplement, should a professor wish to assign the exercises for class.”