Creative Initiatives at U.S. Law Schools
Elon Law Review, Vol. 7, No. 1, Pp. 1-2, 57-89 (2015)
37 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2018 Last revised: 30 Nov 2018
Date Written: June 13, 2014
Creative initiatives and programs that address problems in legal education are underway at many law schools. Some are entirely new in design and aim, running the gamut from full programs to individual innovative courses. Other initiatives build on or give new direction to existing programs, such as clinics and externships. Others are designed to address the costs and time commitment associated with a traditional three-year JD. The breadth and variety of these many efforts signal that law schools hear, take seriously, and are responding to criticisms being leveled at legal education. This report begins the process of identifying and cataloging creative programmatic initiatives in law schools. It organizes the efforts into seven categories: — requirements or guarantees of experiential education opportunities — simulation/observation courses; — structured experiential programs; — the establishment of Deans/Directors/Chairs and/or Centers/Programs focused on experiential education; — pro bono and public interest initiatives with experiential components; — post-graduation innovations; and — multi-disciplinary approaches.The authors, from five different law schools, were the Working Group on Creative Initiatives of the Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law. The reports of six working groups — including this one — were presented at the Second National Symposium on Experiential Education in Law;, held at Elon University School of Law, June 13-15, 2014.
Keywords: law schools, legal education, curriculum, labs, practicums, semester-in-practice programs, bar exam, project-based learning, law school administration, public interest law, incubator programs
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