Weaving Threads of Clinical Legal Scholarship into the First-Year Curriculum: How the Clinical Law Movement is Strengthening the Fabric of Legal Education

26 Clinical L. Rev. 357 (2019)

18 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2019

Date Written: August 21, 2019

Abstract

Part of the 25th Anniversary issue of the Clinical Law Review, O'Leary compares calls for reform in legal education in 1994 with calls for reform in 2019. She draws upon seven "threads" of clinical legal scholarship, arguing for inclusion of these threads in first-year curriculum, rather than side-by-side integration of clinical skills and legal doctrine.

The seven threads are:

1. Active and experiential teaching methods

2. Assessment, self-reflection, and feedback – the importance of students understanding process and teachers understanding students (metacognition)

3. The centrality of client experiences in understanding the law and what it means to be a lawyer

4.The importance of social justice education in forming and reforming the law

5. The centrality of diversity and inclusion in forming the public experience of the law and the student experience of legal education

6. The opportunities for collaborating with students in the enterprise of legal education from the very beginning, and

7. The centrality of digital technology in law practice and legal education

Keywords: active learning, diversity, experiential learning, assessment, metacognition. social justice, technology

Suggested Citation

O'Leary, Kimberly E., Weaving Threads of Clinical Legal Scholarship into the First-Year Curriculum: How the Clinical Law Movement is Strengthening the Fabric of Legal Education (August 21, 2019). 26 Clinical L. Rev. 357 (2019), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3482540

Kimberly E. O'Leary (Contact Author)

WMU-Cooley Law School ( email )

300 S. Capitol Avenue
Lansing, MI 48911
United States
517 371-5140 x2618 (Phone)

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