Creating the New Law School by Fully Integrating Experiential Education Across the Entire Curriculum
37 Pages Posted: 10 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 8, 2016
Yesterday’s law schools and their pedagogical models and methods created some magnificent lawyers and thinkers. Tomorrow’s law schools must retain the best parts of yesterday’s approaches yet evolve in response to the changing needs of the legal profession. The question, of course, is how this evolution should occur.
In this chapter, we argue that the law school of the future cannot merely incorporate more practical skills courses into the curriculum. Instead, law schools must integrate experiential learning across the entire curriculum to create an assessment-driven and outcome-based program of legal education that enables students to develop core lawyering competencies and solve real-world problems. In so doing, however, law schools must recognize that the sin qua non of effective legal advocacy is the ability to think analytically and reason logically. Thus, law schools should not dispense with the Socratic Method or compromise the rigor and depth of the traditional legal model. Instead, law schools must collapse the distinction between analytical, practical skills, and clinical training and develop a cohesive curricular model that bridges the divide between legal education and law practice. In this book chapter, we offer a blueprint for purposeful change by highlighting the innovative curriculum at Indiana Tech Law School.
Keywords: experiential learning, legal writing, legal education
JEL Classification: K10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation