Intersecting Experiential Education and Social Justice Teaching
Margaret B. Kwoka
University of Denver Sturm College of Law
September 23, 2013
6 Northeastern University Law Journal 111 (2013)
U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-46
The movement to expand experiential education in law schools is an important one in and of itself. This essay contends, however, that it also presents an opportunity to better teach social justice lawyering, including professionalism values and lawyers’ ethical duties to serve the public. Experiential education and teaching social justice have long been intertwined for good reason: introducing experiential components into classroom teaching presents an opportunity to choose examples, problems, and cases that demonstrate how law operates in society and foster critical thinking about the intersection of law and justice. Moreover, teaching social justice meets another of the pervasive recommendations for legal education reform: incorporating professionalism and ethics into the classroom. Finally, we should recognize the alignment of interests between those concerned about supporting and inspiring public interest minded students and the push for experiential learning: graduates who enter public interest fields may stand to gain the most from an integrated experiential curriculum. Experiential education is a way of making a social justice career a realistic possibility for a larger percentage of our students. This essay concludes by suggesting possibilities for the natural intersection of experiential education and social justice teaching.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 21
Date posted: September 25, 2013 ; Last revised: October 11, 2013
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