A Glossary for Experiential Education in Law Schools
7 Elon L. Rev. 1, 12 (2015)
12 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2014 Last revised: 13 Sep 2015
Date Written: November 30, 2014
Without a consensus on nomenclature, comparisons and even conversations have been difficult. Institutions use different terms when referring to the same types of learning experiences, and use the same terms -- such as “practicum” or even “clinic” – inconsistently. The increasing proliferation of inconsistent terminology for experiential education offerings makes it difficult for prospective students comparing law schools, for regulators evaluating law schools, for legal employers assessing prospective hires, and for law schools engaging in self-assessment and redesign.
This glossary was written by a collaboration of law teachers who are members of the Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law. We are from a range of law schools and teach using a range of methodologies. Our goal has been to create a common vocabulary to help bring clarity to the nomenclature chaos.
Terms are organized into three categories: pedagogy, program design and course design. Significant delineations include experiential education pedagogy, which includes education through supervised practice experiences as well as simulated practice experiences, and clinical legal education, which is limited to education through supervised practice experiences, whether taught solely by faculty or by faculty in partnership with legal professionals external to the law school. Significant inclusions are programs not always considered experiential education: Cooperative Education Program, Lawyering Skills Competition Program, Legal Analysis, Writing, and Research Program, and Pro Bono Program.
This glossary does not set forth evaluative criteria for experiential offerings, leaving that task to regulatory and other legal education groups. It does, however, provide a definition for the ideal experiential education program: an integrated lawyering program.
Keywords: Legal Education, Experiential Learning, Experiential Education
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