Education in the Field: A Case Study of Experiential Learning in International Law

Legal Education Review, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2011

27 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2012

See all articles by Andrew D. Mitchell

Andrew D. Mitchell

Faculty of Law, Monash University

Bruce Oswald

University of Melbourne - Law School

Tania Voon

University of Melbourne - Law School

Wendy Larcombe

University of Melbourne - Law School

Date Written: November 20, 2012

Abstract

Australian and international law schools are increasingly focussed on experiential learning as a means of promoting student engagement and developing graduate attributes. In this article, we review the existing forms of experiential learning and present a course design for ‘education in the field’ that combines elements of internships and simulations with an intensive collaborative learning experience. This course design has been developed and evaluated over the past five years in our teaching of the international law course Institutions in International Law. Its effectiveness in engaging students and achieving high level learning outcomes led to its adoption this year in a second international law course focused specifically on legal professionalism in a global context: Global Lawyer. Both courses are taught primarily through two weeks of intensive seminars outside Australia, visiting a diverse range of institutions and practitioners. This intensive experience ‘in the field’ creates a raft of opportunities for enriching students’ learning. It is also a rewarding experience for teachers, although it creates a number of challenges not faced in a typical law school classroom. We conclude that while this form of experiential learning entails significant administrative and financial costs, these are outweighed by the educational and institutional benefits that flow from this teaching mode.

JEL Classification: K00, K33

Suggested Citation

Mitchell, Andrew D. and Oswald, Bruce and Voon, Tania and Larcombe, Wendy, Education in the Field: A Case Study of Experiential Learning in International Law (November 20, 2012). Legal Education Review, Vol. 21, No. 1, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2178773

Andrew D. Mitchell (Contact Author)

Faculty of Law, Monash University ( email )

Wellington Road
Clayton, Victoria 3800
Australia

Bruce Oswald

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

Tania Voon

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

Wendy Larcombe

University of Melbourne - Law School ( email )

University Square
185 Pelham Street, Carlton
Victoria, Victoria 3010
Australia

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