If a 6 Turned Out to Be 9, I Don't Mind (But 3? or 2!): The Uneven Implementation of Mandatory Experiential Credits
Clinical Legal Education Newsletter, Vol. 27 (Winter 2018-19)
2 Pages Posted: 29 Jan 2019
Date Written: December 28, 2018
Legal education took almost 100 years before requiring that all J.D. students receive instruction in professional skills. Even then, the American Bar Association acted modestly by adopting a six-credit experiential coursework requirement beginning with students graduating in 2019.
This essay shares the results of a survey of how law schools are implementing the new requirement. It finds that approximately 90% of schools reacted to the new ABA requirement by simply increasing their experiential requirements from “a course” (the prior ABA requirement of as few as one professional skills credit) to the minimum six credits. But 22 (of approximately 200 law schools) have seized the opportunity to examine their curriculum and impose additional experiential requirements, while a few simply relabeled an existing spring first-year legal practice course as “experiential” to avoid requiring additional training for their students.
Keywords: legal education, law school, clinical legal education, experiential education
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation