Experiential Education in the Lecture Hall
6 Northeastern University Law Journal 87 (2013)
24 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 16, 2013
This Essay, written for the "Experience the Future" symposium, hosted by Northeastern University School of Law and the Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law, argues that the push for experiential education in law schools is really a push for better teaching. Experiential learning is not just appropriate for the relatively few skills courses in law schools. It is the best way to teach all material in law schools, including doctrine. To have a deep understanding of the law, students must be able to use the law to craft legal arguments, draft legal documents, and shape legal strategy. A student who has memorized the rules but who cannot apply it in these ways does not know the law in any satisfactory way. Yet students do not acquire this deep understanding of the law through passive methods of instruction. Students learn by experiencing, and doctrine is no exception. This Essay examines the benefits of experiential education in doctrinal instruction and explores how to incorporate experiential teaching methods into doctrinal courses.
Keywords: legal education, experiential education
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