The Downside of Requiring Additional Experiential Courses in Law School
Probate and Property, Volume 31, Number 2
9 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2017 Last revised: 13 May 2017
Date Written: March 1, 2017
In recent years, the bar has expressed dissatisfaction with what is considered by some to be inadequate preparation of law students to begin practicing law immediately after graduation. There are several reasons why this has become a matter of concern for the legal profession. The ABA, state bars and law schools have responded by adopting graduation requirements that force students to take a certain number of experiential courses.
The contention of this article is that the imposition of additional, required experiential courses will have a negative effect on the adequacy of a student's preparation to practice law because it contributes to a reduction in the student's exposure to a range of doctrinal courses (especially core courses) and to the skills that those courses develop. Indeed, the article contends that the current proliferation of clinical and other experiential courses, together with the increase in the number of other course offerings, has resulted in a sizeable percentage of graduating students being ill-prepared to practice law as soon after graduation as law firms would like. In considering whether to adopt course requirements for admission to a state's bar, those consequences should be taken into account.
Keywords: experiential, clinic, externship, internship, law school, education, curriculum, ABA, Bar
JEL Classification: K1, K30, K40, I23
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation