Building on Best Practices: Call for Ideas and Authors

The Clinical Legal Association, Best Practices Implementation Committee is planning a follow-up publication to Best Practices for Legal Education by Roy Stuckey and others.     The vision of the book is to build on ideas for implementing best practices, and to develop new theories and ideas on Best Practices for Legal Education.   If you would like to author a section in the book please let us know as soon as possible.   Then by December 1, 2011 send either of us a 3-5 page abstract identifying the knowledge, skills and values as well as the learning objectives and methodology of your innovative teaching idea.   The Editorial Board will meet at the AALS meeting in January to select pieces for inclusion in the book.

 

If you have any questions or thoughts about the project please feel free to contact either of us.

 

Looking forward to drawing  on the expertise of the legal academy to build on Best Practices for Legal Education!

 

Antoinette Sedillo Lopez ,Chair, Publication Committee

Deborah Maranville,  co-editor

 

Building on Best Practices–Call for Ideas and Authors

The Clinical Legal Association Best Practices Implementation Committee is planning a follow-up publication to Best Practices for Legal Education by Roy Stuckey and others. The vision of the book is to build on ideas for implementing best practices, and to develop new theories and ideas on Best Practices for Legal Education. We would like to call for topic suggestions and author abstracts. If you are interested in submitting a topic suggestions, please do so by August 1 by emailing Antoinette Sedillo Lopez at lopez@law.unm.edu with the topic idea and potential authors and resources relating to the idea. If you would like to author a section in the book and 3-5 page abstract identifying the knowledge, skills and values as well as the learning objectives and methodology of your innovative teaching idea. The abstract is due December 1, 2011. The Editorial Board will meet at the AALS meeting in January to select pieces for inclusion in the book.
If you have any questions or thoughts about the project please feel free to contact me or Deborah Maranville, co-editor.
Looking forward to drawing on the expertise of the legal academy to build on Best Practices for Legal Education! Antoinette Sedillo Lopez, Chair, Publication Committee

Externship Conference: Responding to Changing Times

Externships 5:  Responding to Changing Times

I just returned from this excellent conference in Miami attended by over 150 externship faculty, deans, and administrators.  The Lextern list is buzzing with excitement about meeting the challenges of designing and teaching externships (or Field Placements, as we say in Albany) in changing times, and with praise for the conference planning committee and chair who organized a program rich with new ideas, methodologies, and resources.   

Thanks to conference planners Alex Scherr, Harriet Katz, Avis Sanders, Eden Harrington, Sande Buhai, Liz Ryan Cole, Robert Parker (am I leaving anyone out!?), host law schools, and conference chair, Jennifer Zawid for putting together such an informative, interesting, collaborative, challenging conference – and fun too! 

The Conference discussions, along with Carnegie and Best Practices, provides the externship community with many interesting and challenging questions issues to address, including: externships in the curriculum, designing educational outcomes in light of evolving ABA standards, increased pressures on externships as law schools and legal communities deal with the current economic downturn,  teaching ethics and professional identity in externships, etc. 

Here are a just a few highlights from the Conference to get the discussion started…

  1. There’s More Than One Way to Create a Great Externship Program

Choices regarding placement options, classes or seminars, program oversight, and training, are – or should be – a function of particular program goals and law school mission and should consider where the primary learning is expected to take place – (field and/or classroom). Avis Sanders and Eden Harrington led a panel discussion through the pros and cons of supervising attorney training, site visits, allowing placements at private firms and for-profit entities, general or subject specific classes, etc. Great food for thought for both established and new programs.

  1. ABA proposed standard 305

Alex Scherr led an open forum on the proposed elimination of interpretation 305-3 which currently prohibits law schools from granting credit to a student for participation in a field placement program for which the student receives compensation.  There is still time to comment on this proposal and it is important that we weigh in as this rule will have significant impact on externships. 

As some pointed out, this might assist students in tough economic times and we should still be able to control placement educational goals even if placements pay for student work.  A vocal majority, however, expressed concern about the prospect of allowing pay and credit.  For example, would field placements lose academic legitimacy if students get paid for credits?  Assuming that students would opt for placements that are able to pay, what would this mean for the majority of public service, public interest, government, not-for-profit placements?  If schools are unable to place students in public placements, might this undermine social justice goals?  There were concerns regarding pressure to send students to private placements and to give credit for already existing paid jobs – an additional administrative burden.   I hope others will weigh in.

  1. Status of externship faculty 

I was surprised to learn that while some externship teachers and program directors are tenured faculty or even academic deans, others, including leaders in legal education and experiential learning, are not considered “faculty” at their own institutions!   Does the lack of faculty status undermine the educational mission? Does it send the wrong message to students and placements that externships are not part of the academic program?  What do others think?   

The detailed program can be found on the co-sponsor University of Miami website

 http://www.law.miami.edu/events/externships/works.php, as well as on the Lextern web

 http://laworgs.cua.edu/lexternweb/index.htm.  I hope presenters will post materials on both sites.

Collaborative Externships Update

Almost seven  months ago I blogged about the the Laurel Rubin Rural Externship Advocacy Project sponsored by the Washington State Access to Justice and the Law School’s committee.   Externship Collaborations

In June the Project was formally launched Continue reading

Washington and Lee Embarks on a New Third Year Curriculum: Embraces the Carnegie Report and Best Practices

            Washington and Lee University School of Law is dramatically changing its curriculum by creating a new third year curriculum devoted to professional development through simulated and real-client practice experiential learning.  Influenced by the Carnegie Report, Educating Lawyers, and Best Practices for Legal Education, the new third year curriculum integrates legal theory, doctrine and the development of professional, ethical judgment necessary to the development of professional identity.  This is one of the most comprehensive reforms in legal education undertaken by any law school. Continue reading

Externships — A Bridge to Practice

I just returned from an excellent conference:  Externships 4 – A Bridge to Practice.  This was the fourth in a series of national conferences by and for law school externship program faculty.  The theme of this conference was “challenging faculty and administrators to consider the role of externships in the curriculum in light of the Carnegie Report and the general call for increased skills-based, experiential learning.”  Thanks to Susan McClellan, Director, Externship Program, Seattle University School of Law and Rosanna Peterson, Director of the Externship Program at Gonzaga University School of Law for organizing and hosting this event. 

I was struck by a couple of things that I thought were worth overcoming my fear of blogging to share: 

  • First, was the ways in which properly run externship programs provide just the opportunities to learn about, reflect upon, and practice the responsibilities of the legal profession that the Carnegie Report recommends.  It is important for externship faculty to share information and join the conversation about Educating Lawyers and Best Practices for Legal Education.    
  • Second, was the troubling fact that some externship faculty feel marginalized, not only by the Carnegie Report which barely mentions “externships” (although it does refer to “clinics”), but by their law schools and even their own Clinics.  Some faculty see themselves, the courses they teach, and programs they run as completely separate from clinical education.  I always considered myself Clinical Faculty, having taught in-house clinics, as well as skills courses, and now field placements.   I am interested in hearing from others. Continue reading
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