Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Experiential (R)Evolution

G.S. Hans

In Assessing the Experiential (R)Evolution, Allison Korn and Laila Hlass have written an excellent, incisive article on the after-effects of the ABA’s adoption of a standard mandating that law schools require J.D. students to complete at least six credits of experiential coursework. Korn and Hlass observe how titanic a shift this was; while less than the 15 credit requirement that some advocated for, it still reflected a six-fold increase from the prior regime.

All those experiential credits have to come from somewhere, and that’s where Korn and Hlass take up their project. They sought to learn, through an extensive survey, how schools have responded to the new ABA requirement. One of their central contributions in their article is determining exactly how law schools have complied with the new standards. While some schools had little work to do to ensure compliance — either because they already required at least six credits of experiential education or  because they already offered enough courses to allow students to fulfill the ABA requirement — many others created new classes, modified existing courses, or engaged in broader curricular reforms.

Who teaches these classes, and who ensures they run properly? Korn and Hlass examine these questions as well, discussing how schools have relied upon the now-prevalent academic administrator — often a Head of Experiential Education, referred to by various titles — to manage and facilitate the experiential curriculum. The responsibilities that flow from such power are significant and likely to grow, particularly if the ABA revisits the credit hour requirement or if other states follow New York’s lead in creating experiential requirements for bar applicants.

Drawing upon the scholarship of Jon Dubin and the CLEA Faculty Equity & Inclusion Committee, of which I am co-chair, Korn and Hlass discuss the potential diversity and equity concerns that might result. While the data their article describes is impressive, it does not include race or gender information on experiential directors and deans. Our committee is working to rectify that gap, as a lack of data has stymied research — and thus reforms. There are many reasons to seek better diversity and representation from experiential administrators, but the visibility of the role, both as a symbol of a law school’s experiential program and within the administration of law schools, is particularly compelling.

One concern I have, which Korn and Hlass mention, involves the diversity and representation issues for instructors who lack employment security. With law schools potentially entering a permanent cost-consciousness mentality, determining how to finance the need for experiential courses will merit special attention from deans and experiential administrators. Though Bob Kuehn has shown that the reputation of clinics as high-cost relative to other law school expenditures is overstated, law schools may still choose to use adjuncts, fellows, and other short-term faculty to satisfy their ABA requirements in a less expensive way. 

Korn and Hlass note Meera Deo’s warning, in her influential book Unequal Profession, that law schools might seek to grow their diverse faculty in the least secure positions. Some experiential faculty are on the tenure-track or have tenured positions, whilst others have more precarious appointments. Adjuncts and fellows have the least job security of instructional faculty — but might present appealing, lower-cost options for expanding experiential offerings, through practicums, labs, or clinical seats. For some law schools mindful of financial concerns, hiring an adjunct to teach Negotiation as an experiential course to 24 students might seem more appealing than creating three tenure-track clinical faculty lines to offer 24 seats on the standard 8:1 ratio for clinical courses. Given Deo’s concerns, we should keep an eye on whether less-secure positions are being used to comply with the ABA requirement, and whether those positions are being disproportionately filled by diverse faculty.

Korn and Hlass have given us all much to think about in this comprehensive and innovative article, which ties together many strands of current debate within the experiential community. I particularly appreciated its generative qualities — I myself came away with many questions and ideas for future research. These issues will require scholarly engagement and discussion from many faculty and law schools in order to chart a just and equitable path forward for instructors, students, clients, and law schools.

Experiential Education and the First-Year Curriculum

Eduardo R.C. Capulong

One way to describe today’s law school curriculum is in terms of détente—a truce in which law schools have decided that experiential work can happen in the third year so long as the case method reigns supreme in the first.  Students can take clinics or externships later but their first preoccupation would be dissecting appellate opinions for doctrine and reading supplemental materials for context.  Allison Korn’s and Laila Hlass’ survey of experiential courses post-revised ABA Standards 303 and 304 provides us a fresh glimpse of this pedagogical battleground—and, as Tony Amsterdam observed nearly four decades ago—equips reformers with more “political dynamite” to throw at this ossified state of affairs.

Korn and Hlass report that 19 schools expanded and 20% of respondents changed their first-year experiential curricula post-revised Standards.  “Labs” and “practicums” have proliferated, as have deans for experiential education—many former clinic directors now overseeing the entire experiential arc.  These developments, they prescribe, should “ensure not only compliance with the new ABA Standards, but also advancement of a diverse and comprehensive experiential curriculum that bolsters faculty expertise, develops students’ substantive and contextual knowledge and practical skills, and expands access to justice.”  To these ends, they call for ensuring the long-term viability of experiential deans; rigor in the approval, development, and assessment of experiential courses; and diversity of and security of tenure for experiential faculty.  The survey reveals what should be easily correctible oversights, as well, such as including simulation courses in Standard 303(b): since such courses are experiential under its definition, there’s no reason why law schools shouldn’t “provide substantial opportunities” for them just as they must for clinics and field placements/externships.  (Indeed, best practices should call for students taking a clinic and anexternship and a simulation course.)

Above all, Korn and Hlass surface the need for theory—i.e., pedagogical theory, or what my colleague, Julia Hernandez, calls an “antidisciplinary lens.”  The law school is, of course, a key pillar of the American establishment, hence the durability of how things are done.  The reason the formalist cast has endured is that it has served racial capitalism exceptionally well: it abstracts, objectifies, normalizes, and obscures raw, violent power in a set of purportedly neutral rules equally applicable to all.  Reformers have mounted successive challenges against the case method for more than a century.  Yet none has been successful in supplanting it.  That’s the story of social movements fighting hegemony, coinciding with historical forces in ebb and flow.  It’s also the story of reformism: piecemeal changes not quite striking at the heart of their target.  What we need, as Jerry Lopez recently argued, is an “alternative vision.”

Labs and practica in the first year may seem quaint from this perspective.  But like any movement with a visionary goal and immediate realities to confront, they’re promising next steps.  They can form the backbone for the faculty collaboration Korn and Hlass rightfully note as key to an effective experiential curriculum.  They can be tied, for example, to lawyering or legal methods courses that can then form the hub of a reimagined curriculum.  They can be vehicles for developing simulation pedagogy and professional identity, which remain undertheorized.  (I’m not disinterested here: I direct one such program in a school founded on such a model and helped convene a network of Lawyering professors promoting these ideas.)  With the rise of the information economy—including rapid technological changes and the ready availability of legal materials whose use as asynchronous instruction has been hastened by the pandemic—law faculty should be less purveyors than curators of knowledge, less lecturers than coaches or sources of skillful and ethical guidance—i.e., less doctrinal teachers than clinicians. 

I’m hopeful.  The developments Korn and Hlass surveyed coincide with five others that should make us optimistic.  The first is the racial reckoning that many law schools have undertaken in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.  The second are the redoubled efforts by critical race scholars to reform the first-year curriculum, including recent work on the white supremacist foundations of legal rhetoric and ongoing work to forge what my colleague Yasmin Sokkar-Harker calls “critical legal information literacy.”  The third is a professional identity movement seeking to systematize instruction.  The fourth are professional competency studies that confirm the soundness of the experiential project—the latest of which, led by Deborah Merritt, was published two months ago.  And the fifth are potential changes to the bar exam recently recommended by the NCBE and summarized in these pages, which call for the “assessment of lawyering skills to better reflect real-world practice and the types of activities newly licensed lawyers perform” and the expansion of those “foundational skills … to include more than just legal analysis and writing [but also] legal research, factual investigation and evaluation (including fact gathering), client counseling and advising, client relationship and management, and negotiation and dispute resolution.”  Taken together, these parallel movements form at least part of our curricular terrain.  Détente or no, they are the leading edges of change and I’m thankful for Korn and Hlass for their important contribution.

Lessons from Critical Race Theory for the Experiential (R)evolution

Robin Walker Sterling

In Assessing the Experiential (R)evolution, new experiential learning directors Allison Korn and Laila Hass conclude that law schools should “define the boundaries of experiential dean and director roles,” and provide faculty members in those roles appropriate administrative and other support; “implement sustainable practices to expand and support experiential faculty, with a focus on including and valuing underrepresented clinicians of color,” and “develop practices to ensure rigor in the process for approving and assessing experiential coursese while appropriately allocating resources to courses and programs.” The authors based their comprehensive recommendations on survey responses from 126 law schools received in the fall and winter of 2018.

Since then, our country has faced both an unprecedented health crisis and protests stemming from long-simmering social unrest. We have been caught in the pincer grip of two widespread pandemics, one old and one new. The novel coronavirus has upended our lives, exploiting fault lines of marginalization to disproportionately affect the communities that many law school experiential programs serve. To date, even as the new presidential administration rushes to deliver doses of the vaccine to vulnerable populations, there are 26.9 million cases of covid-19 in the United States, and more than 460,000 people have died. Communities of color have disproportionately borne the brunt of the virus’s effects. According to the Washington Post, even after controlling for age, sex, and mortality rates over time, Black Americans were 37 percent more likely to die of the virus than whites; Asian Americans were 53 percent more likely; Native Americans and Alaskan Natives were 26 percent more likely; and Hispanics were 16 percent more likely to die than whites.

At the same time, the decades-old systemic racism embedded in policing reached a tipping point, leading to uprisings, protests, and calls for change around the world. On the heels of the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery, unarmed and jogging in Georgia, and of Breonna Taylor, unarmed and asleep in her own home in Kentucky, the suffocation death of George Floyd on a city street in Minneapolis led to the longest and largest period of protests for civil rights in the United States since the 1960s. On one day during the months of protests, June 6, over half a million people protested in nearly 550 places across the United States. The protests have led to significant changes. The Minneapolis City Council promised to dismantle its police department. New York legislators repealed a law that kept police disciplinary records confidential. Jurisdictions across the county banned chokeholds. Colorado disallowed qualified immunity for police in certain situations. Perhaps as importantly, the pendulum has shifted in the public’s acceptance of the Black Lives Matter movement, with support increasing in the weeks after George Floyd’s murder as much as it had in the last two years. In his inaugural address, President Biden listed “a cry for racial justice some 400 years in the making,” along with the coronavirus, the economy, the threat of white supremacy, and climate change as the defining challenges of our time.

As the clinical legal education community undertakes the critical assessment that the authors urge, it might do well for us to strategize around achieving these gains using tenets of critical race theory. Some of the foundational tenets of criminal race theory include: questioning the idea of “meritocracy” and the assumption that standards of “merit” can be neutral under current social conditions; emphasizing taking action to make real change in the world; and understanding that power works hegemonically. All of these are consonant with some of the cornerstone principles of clinical legal education. In particular, Derrick Bell’s theory on interest convergence might be instructive. Professor Bell developed his ground-breaking theory in the context of civil rights, when he argued that the Brown v. Board of Education (1954) decision, which prohibited de jure segregation of public schools, came about because such a ruling benefitted white people. Professor Bell argued that the Brown decision: soothed the anger and potential of political protests Black veterans, who had served their country in World War II only to return home to continued discrimination; advanced American Cold War objectives by making the United States seem more reasonable than Russia to third world countries; and facilitated desegregation, which was now seen as economically advantageous to the South. As Professor Bell (1980) put it, “the interests of Blacks in achieving racial equality will be accommodated only when it converges with the interests of Whites.”

This principle, broadened and restated as the premise that the interests of a more marginalized group will gain traction only when they coincide with the interests of the dominant group, might be applied to the situation of clinical legal education relative to traditional legal academia. If we applied this principle, then goals like educating members of traditional legal academia about the important contributions of clinical legal education, or appealing to traditional legal academia’s sense of unfairness become less important. Instead, our strategy becomes one of figuring out how to recast the academic and administrative gains we are seeking as aligned with the interests of non-clinical legal academia. That is a much larger topic than can be accommodated in this short blog post. But, in the same way that the zeitgeist of the protests of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement created an atmosphere ready for change, these recent protests have done the same. This article, with its comprehensive questions and recommendations, helps clinical legal academia make the most of this moment.

Assessing the Experiential (R)evolution

by Professors Laila Hlass (Tulane Law) and Allison Korn (UCLA Law)

In the midst of calls for law schools to meaningfully address systemic racism in our institutions and a pivot to virtual and hybrid learning in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the time is now to consider new paths forward in experiential education. Furthermore, in the wake of deadly assaults on our democracy, law schools’ should grapple with how to teach  justice and social change formally through curriculum and informally through programming. We hope to spark conversation and action regarding reimagining legal education, specifically contemplating the roles that experiential education and experiential faculty should play in the future of law schools.

For more than a century, law schools did not generally mandate any experiential education, but in 2014, the ABA adopted six-credit mandate, alongside a packet of experiential reforms.  In 2018–2019, as the first classes of law students graduated under the revised ABA Standards, we conducted a national survey of ABA-accredited law schools, asking about changes in experiential education and we received responses from 126 institutions.

Our article Assessing the Experiential (R)evolution, recently published in Villanova Law Review, reports findings from this empirical investigation into the experiential landscape shift since the revised Standards were adopted. From our survey, we learned of a recent proliferation of deans and directors of experiential education. Along with this came continued growth in experiential curricula, including among experiential courses in the first-year curriculum, and experimentation with new pedagogical approaches, such as adopting hybrid experiential courses termed “labs” and “practicums.” These trends of expansion and experimentation raised many questions for us:

  • As law schools increasingly add deans and directors of experiential education, experiential courses, and new tools for course assessment and approval, while experimenting with new course models, are they also working to uplift experiential programming as an essential part of the institution?
  • As law schools hire new experiential faculty and appoint experiential deans and directors, are they being responsive to the clinician diversity imperative, taking steps to identify, recruit, and support clinicians of color?
  • Are law schools not only integrating experiential deans, directors, and faculty into the greater faculty but also ensuring that they have reasonably similar security of position and a voice in law school governance?
  • While investing in integration across law school coursework, have law schools acknowledged that experiential education is core to the law school curriculum?

Our article proposes a series of recommendations aimed at ensuring sustainability for experiential deans and directors, implementing equitable practices for experiential curriculum and faculty development, and assessing curricular changes thoughtfully and deliberately. But this proposal is only a starting point for deeper discussion about how we might approach our experiential programs and renew our collective vision for robust, innovative, justice-centered experiential education. Over the next few weeks, the Best Practices Blog will host reactions to and commentary on these themes from a deep bench of extraordinary colleagues in the experiential community. From building sustainable administrative roles to examining and improving racial diversity among experiential faculty; from increasing experiential offerings for first-year students to highlighting changes within externship and field placement programs – each commentary will help us assess and build on current experiential programs and call on our institutions to better understand and support the increasingly vital role experiential education plays in the legal academy.

CLINICAL COSTS: SEPARATING FACT FROM OPINION

by Robert Kuehn,  Washington University School of Law

The late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once observed, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts.” When it comes to expanding clinical legal education, the knee-jerk opinion is that it is too expensive for legal education to follow the lead of other professional schools and ensure that every student graduates with a clinical experience through a law clinic or externship. Even the richest law schools couldn’t resist playing the cost card to scare the ABA out of requiring additional professional skills training: “Requiring all law schools to provide 15 experiential credit hours to each student will impose large costs on law schools, costs that would have to be passed on to students. . . . Even a law school with significant financial resources could not afford such an undertaking.” 1

Yet, the facts show otherwise — every school, from the well-heeled to the impecunious, can provide a clinical experience to each student without increasing tuition. Indeed, an array of schools already require 15 credits of experiential coursework (simulations, law clinics & externships) and a clinical experience (a law clinic or externship) for all their J.D. students without noticeable impacts on tuition. At the City University of New York, students must take a twelve- to sixteen-credit law clinic or externship prior to graduation, and at only $15,000 in resident tuition ($24,000 non-resident). Students at the University of the District of Columbia similarly must enroll in a seven-credit law clinic in their second year and a second seven-credit clinic in their third year, paying $11,500 in resident tuition ($22,500 non-resident). Starting with the 2013 entering class, Washington and Lee University requires twenty academic credits in simulated or real-practice experiences that include at least one law clinic or externship. The professor overseeing the program explained that a review of the first few years of the new curriculum showed it is “slightly less expensive than our former, traditional third-year curriculum. And . . . than our current first and second years.”2  Most recently, Pepperdine announced that beginning with next year’s class, students must graduate with at least 15 credits of experiential course work, yet the school increased tuition for 2015 by less than its average increase for the prior three years.

These examples are consistent with studies showing that every school can afford to require a clinical experience for every J.D. student. Continue reading

Building on Best Practices now available as eBook

Are you trying to:

  • Develop a meaningful law school mission statement?
  • Understand new accreditation requirements, learning goals, and outcomes assessment?
  •  Expand your experiential offerings?  Decide whether to use modules or courses?  An on-site clinic, an externship, or community partnership?
  •  Teach ALL of your students in the most effective ways, using a full range of teaching methods?
  • Add to your curriculum more of the professional identity, leadership, intercultural, inter-professional and other knowledge, skills, and values sought by 21st century legal employers?
  • Lead thoughtfully in the face of the challenges facing legal education today?

These and other topics are addressed in Building on Best Practices:  Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World,  now available in ebook format from LexisNexis at no charge.

The print version is not yet out.  LEXIS-NEXIS is taking advance orders for $50, plus shipping.  BUT we understand that they will make one copy available to every US legal educator for free upon on request.  Details on this and international availability still to come.

Thanks, and congratulations, to book project sponsor Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA), the more than fifty legal educators who participated as authors, and the countless others who assisted as readers and in numerous other ways.

And, a huge shout-out to my wonderful and talented co-editors, Lisa Radke Bliss, Carrie Wilkes Kaas, and Antoinette Sedillo Lopez.

LexternWeb By: Sandy Ogilvy

If you are new to externships or returning to them after being away, I would like to invite you to check out the website created for faculty and administrators of externship programs, LexternWeb.  Visit http://lexternweb.law.edu/  for links to all law school externship webpages, materials, and more.  Note that the site can always use new, updated, or corrected content.  Please send me materials or links for posting.  Also, you can subscribe to the Lextern listserv from the site and join 547 other teachers and administrators of legal externship programs in sustained dialogue about externships.  For more information, please contact me:

J.P. “Sandy” Ogilvy
Ordinary Professor of Law and
Director-CUA Innocence Project Clinic & Clemency Project,
Director-Law & Social Justice Initiatives,
Director-National Archive for Clinical Legal Education
Columbus School of Law
The Catholic University of America
Washington, DC 20064
Tel: 202-319-6195
Fax: 202-319-4459

http://www.law.edu/faculty/ogilvy/

http://lib.law.cua.edu/nacle/

http://lsji.law.edu/

http://www.law.edu/clinics/cle/InnocenceProj.cfm

Public Interest Blog: http://jogilvy.wordpress.com/

Twitter @SandyOgilvy

SSRN: http://ssrn.com/author=363920

Lessons from “Counseling Our Students” (Mini-Plenary at AALS Conference on Clinical Education)

At the recent AALS Conference on Clinical Education two additional sessions provided important insights from experts iin other disciplines on how to operate effectively in the midst of the current period of change in legal education.

Wednesday;s Mini-Plenary on Counseling Our Students In the New Normal included an inspiring guest speaker who was even more impressive as a listener.

Moderated by Mercer’s Tim Floyd, the session began with a helpful overview of the current state of the job market (bottom line:  recovering, slowly) by Abraham Pollack, GW’s  Professional Development dean. But the centerpiece of the session was Carolyn McKanders, Co-Director and Director or Organizational Culture, Thinking Collaborative and, not incidentally, mother of Tennessee’s Karla McKanders,

Carolyn brilliantly demonstrated “cognitive coaching” (check out the app!) in an unscripted coaching session that allowed Mary Lynch (yes, that Mary Lynch,  Editor of this blog) to expand  her acting career into improv. The session was designed to help Mary think through her goals and approaches in counseling students on career development in an environment where predictable and linear career tracks are no longer the norm.

After the role play Carolyn summarized three keys to cognitive coaching:  pausing, paraphrasing and posing questions (with a rising inflection that communicates curiosity and openness, not control or credibility).  The beauty of this approach is that it helps the individual “self-monitor, self-analyze, and self-evaluate“.

The session certainly reinforced three lessons that clinicians should know; after all, a foundational goal of clinical legal education is fostering reflection, and most of us teach interviewing and counseling, at least to some extent.

  • First, the power of listening.  In a world of fast talking, sometimes monologue-happy, often living-in-our-heads law professors, so easy for this lesson to “go missing”  if we ruminate worriedly, trying to cope with the new normal in faculty and committee meetings and informal conversations.
  • Second, the value of paraphrasing for understanding to ensure accurate communication.
  • And finally, the importance of  founding our questions on authentic curiosity — listening in order to understand, not to counter an argument.

In a constantly changing world, where so many verities are in play, it’s too easy for us to get stuck in fear and suspicion.  Though the stated rationale for the mini-plenary was to help us counsel students, for me it spoke at least as powerfully to how we can most effectively interact  with our colleagues.  And, perhaps, “counsel” ourselves.

In the next, and final post of this series, I’ll discuss a Thursday concurrent that linked “inner development” with community building and social justice.

Building on Best Practices and the Clinical Theory Workshop

Thought-provoking discussion at the NYLS Clinical Theory Workshop on Friday.

Definitions. Carrie Kaas reported on the “definitions” project of an Alliance for Experiential Education Committee chaired by Cindy Adcock of Charlotte. That committee is attempting to generate a common vocabulary around experiential learning — a set of common definitions for the overlapping and inconsistently used terms now in use. The Building on Best Practices project will need to decide whether to adopt that vocabulary, or not.

One of the most interesting, and challenging, tasks is to decide what differentiates an in-house clinic from an externship. Is it geography? Who pays the supervisor? A distinction rooted in pedagogy? Degree of independent role assumption? Or perhaps the distinction is no longer useful & and is ready to be junked?

I lean towards pedagogy & intensity of supervision, and degree of independent role assumption. Except when I lean towards junking the terminology and recognizing that we’re dealing with a continuum on multiple dimensions, as argued in Revision Quest: A Law School Guide to Designing Experiential Courses Involving Real Lawyering.

Sequencing. Cynthia Batt from Stetson presented her draft article on curriculum sequencing that is one of several independent articles spawned by the Building on Best Practices book project. Arguing for what I have termed the “layer cake” curriculum model, she conceded that the model is not necessarily the “only” or “best” model. But, she suggested, at schools where significant numbers of faculty are resistant to integrating experiential education throughout the curriculum, whether due to insecurity about lack of practice experience, fear of change, or other reasons, it is one that might have the best chance of implementation. Fair enough. A reminder to me that I’m at a school with relatively little resistance to experiential education.

Under the Radar Creativity. Cynthia made another comment that I’ve been pondering: “I am so impressed with my colleagues’ creativity, the kinds of work they are having students do that no one else knew about. Why are people so reluctant to talk about experiential education embedded in ‘traditional’ doctrinal education?”

That creativity certainly permeates my own law school. Based on a survey last spring, my colleagues are integrating experiential exercises into over 50 doctrinal courses. And they’ve created a long list of very creative simulation oriented courses, ranging from Venture Capital Deals to Supreme Court Decision Making to International Contracting.

So much of this creativity operates pretty “under the radar screen”. But I’m not sure it’s reluctance exactly. Lack of time? Lack of an appropriate forum? Understated, we-don’t-blow-our-own-horn Seattle manners?

I don’t know. But if our two schools at opposite corners of the country are representative, perhaps legal education has changed more than we know. Are we approaching a tipping point?

How Much Experiential Legal Education is Enough?

I remember when I first started teaching, many schools had limits on how many law school credits students could earn through clinics, externships and simulation courses.  I am not sure exactly why.  I think the idea was that these courses were “soft” and did not require the intellectual rigor that classroom courses required.   There might have been a concern about grading in those courses as well.  It was thought that the grading might be inflated since they were usually not subject to the imposition of a grading curve.

My, how times have changed.

Now that employers want students who are prepared for the practice and students want education that prepares them for the practice, the question is now, how much experiential education is enough to prepare them?  Karen Tokarz, Peggy Maisel and Bob Siebel and I recently completed an article suggesting that  about one third of the curriculum would be ideal.  We suggest the courses should be spread throughout the three years (we include legal research and writing as a “skills” course.)  We believe that this amount would capitalize on the legal knowledge and analytical skills they develop in the  traditional  law school classroom and would help students better understand the values and develop the skills they need to become successful lawyers.   Simulation courses  such as trial practice, moot courts, negotiation and counseling, alternative dispute resolution, etc would help students develop and perfect the technical skills and well designed hybrid courses, externships and clinics would help students integrate the skills, knowledge and values that will enable them to develop as competent and ethical lawyers.   This would remedy the fact that students are often bored by the third year of law school and it would focus law school education on helping students prepare themselves to do pursue the careers they seek.  We suggest that law schools should develop learning objectives for their programs and work on assessing the effectiveness of the overall program, including classroom, simulation courses and hybrid, clinics and externships.

In the article we point to  schools that have been moving in that direction.  We highlight the seventeen (17) law schools that require clinical course work and we also describe the growing movement of schools that guarantee a clinical course for every student who desires one.   Now, we need to engage one of the most important principles of Best Practices for Legal Education, we need to assess the effectiveness of our programs.  That will tell us how much experiential education we need.

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