Re-Vision Quest: A Law School Guide to Designing Experiential Courses Involving Real Lawyering

43 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2010 Last revised: 5 Mar 2013

Deborah A. Maranville

University of Washington School of Law

Mary A. Lynch

Albany Law School

Susan L. Kay

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Phyllis Goldfarb

George Washington University Law School

Russell Engler

New England Law | Boston

Date Written: June 22, 2011

Abstract

Legal educators have long viewed experiential courses involving real lawyering as a world divided neatly in two: externship placements and in-house clinics. This article suggests that despite the decades-old vintage of this categorization scheme, it is inadequate for the curriculum reform era that lies ahead. Increasingly, the content of these categories has expanded, the always-permeable boundary between them has blurred, and hybrids and varieties have sprouted that defy easy categorization. Thus, the labels conceal both similarities and differences. Our overarching purpose in this article is to identify and frame the wide array of options for structuring an educational experience in which law students are performing as professionals engaged in service to people involved in legal matters. We suggest that legal educators expand their thinking about curricular options for experiential learning and develop a broader conceptual framework for articulating these options. In this article, we offer such a framework, representing our effort to highlight more comprehensively the extensive range of options that law schools can consider in designing or redesigning curricular clinical programs. We also propose a decision-making process for using that framework and apply it to three examples. We hope the article will serve as a decision-making guide for the law school faculty and administrators who will be shaping the future of clinical legal education and legal education in general.

Keywords: legal, experiential, clinical, education, curriculum

Suggested Citation

Maranville, Deborah A. and Lynch, Mary A. and Kay, Susan L. and Goldfarb, Phyllis and Engler, Russell, Re-Vision Quest: A Law School Guide to Designing Experiential Courses Involving Real Lawyering (June 22, 2011). New York Law School Law Review, Vol. 56, p. 517, 2011-12; Albany Law School Research Paper No. 10-17; NYLS Clinical Research Institute Paper No. 10/11-6; University of Washington School of Law Research Paper No. 2012-19. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1626568

Deborah A. Maranville (Contact Author)

University of Washington School of Law ( email )

William H. Gates Hall
Box 353020
Seattle, WA 98105-3020
United States
206.685.6803 (Phone)
206.685.2388 (Fax)

Mary A. Lynch

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

Susan L. Kay

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States

Phyllis Goldfarb

George Washington University Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202.994.7463 (Phone)

Russell Engler

New England Law | Boston ( email )

154 Stuart St.
Boston, MA 02116
United States

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