Innovative teaching methods are needed that will achieve good learning outcomes on substantive content as well as developing generic skills. Ability to work in teams is always included in short lists of desirable generic skills, whether it be those of employers or universities, along with information literacy, communication and computer skills. I argue that teamwork is not one skill but a compendium of many of the most useful generic skills, so that its use develops and fosters a broad range of key skills. My aims in this paper are to demonstrate one way in which teamwork can be used as a teaching and learning tool, explain the underlying rationale, show how it promotes student autonomy and generic skill development, and canvass some of the obstacles to innovation. First, the paper reviews aspects of learning and teamwork theory, and makes the case for use of teamwork in the higher education context. The educational model is derived from experiential learning theory, and based on the view that skills are most effectively learned when situated in a purposeful context. Secondly, implementation of the model in various law courses over three years at two universities is discussed, and its effectiveness considered. In conclusion, barriers to implementation, strategies to minimise obstacles, lessons learned and future directions are discussed.