Addressing Problems of Power and Supervision in Field Placements

Clinical Law Review, Vol. 17, p. 145, 2010

Albany Law School Research Paper No. 30

53 Pages Posted: 12 Nov 2010 Last revised: 16 Dec 2012

Nancy Maurer

Albany Law School

Robert Seibel

California Western School of Law

Date Written: October 20, 2010

Abstract

Power dynamics play a role in all workplace relationships and are of particular significance in field placement programs where such dynamics can have an impact on the learning opportunities for law students. This article examines power issues in relation to supervision of law students. The article begins by exploring the parameters of the problem through examples, and then examines the potential consequences of failing to address such issues in field placement programs, including ethical ramifications. Faculty in field placement programs, who generally are not responsible for client work product, have a unique opportunity to address power and supervision issues with students and supervising attorneys. The goal of field placements is to equip students to fully exploit opportunities in the programs, and to prepare them for workplace issues they may face in the legal workplace. The article contains extensive suggestions for teaching about power in each phase of field placement programs, in hopes of enabling students, faculty and supervisors to identify and address problems of power and supervision and to maximize student learning.

Keywords: Field Placements, Clinic

Suggested Citation

Maurer, Nancy and Seibel, Robert, Addressing Problems of Power and Supervision in Field Placements (October 20, 2010). Clinical Law Review, Vol. 17, p. 145, 2010; Albany Law School Research Paper No. 30. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1707437

Nancy Maurer (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States

Robert Seibel

California Western School of Law ( email )

225 Cedar Street
San Diego, CA 92101
United States

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