Brian Leiter's Law School Reports

Brian Leiter
University of Chicago Law School

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ellmann v. Leiter on the proposed clinical/experiential learning requirement

Following a post a few weeks back about a proposed ABA requirement for 15 required hours of "experiential" learning, I had an interesting e-mail exchange with Stephen Ellmann, who is Professor of Law and Director of the Office of Clinical and Experiential Learning at New York Law School.  I encouraged him to write up his thoughts on this issue, so that we might have a kind of public dialogue about these issues.  I post my reply to Professor Ellmann below, and I have opened comments for Prof. Ellmann to reply and for other readers to weigh in.

Remarks of Stephen Ellmann:

After Brian posted about the decision, by the Council of the ABA’s Section of Legal Education and Admission to the Bar, to circulate for comment a Clinical Legal Education Association proposal to require all law students to take 15 credits of experiential courses, he and I exchanged e-mails, and he proposed that we continue this discussion here. I thank him for this opportunity, and look forward to the discussion. 

It is certainly possible to debate some of the details of this proposal, but my purpose here is to defend its central proposition: that all law students should receive significant training in the practice of law before they graduate. This is one of those propositions that almost seems not to need defense: who would imagine a professional school that did not give its graduates training in how to practice their future profession? 

One might accept this proposition as I’ve stated it, and respond that regular law school classes are an engagement with practice. There is some force to this point. Socratic classrooms are much more engaged, I believe, than lectures. Langdell, as I understand it, aimed to teach students the skill of legal reasoning - and I certainly agree that's a practice  skill. 

But there are two major problems with the "regular coursework as engagement with practice" argument. First, the traditional study of legal reasoning is an engagement only with a fraction of the skills a lawyer needs. It includes no interviewing, no counseling, no trial skills (except a measure of advocacy training gained by some students from the give-and-take of class discussion), no negotiation - and actually not much training in legal research nor, in many courses, more than a final exam's worth of training in the many challenges of legal writing. Second, the sad truth is that the charm of this method wears off. Two years of Socratic dialogue does not make the third year of it more profoundly rewarding. Instead, it evidently leaves our students often deeply disengaged, as Mitu Gulati, Richard Sander & Robert Sockloskie have shown

I think that clinical legal educators have demonstrated over the past forty years that the other skills of legal practice are also, like legal reasoning and legal doctrine, susceptible of scholarly study and capable of being taught. Experiential courses, including clinics, externships and simulation classes, aim to do just that and so to add crucial depth to the practice preparation that law schools provide. 

One might accept the value of experiential learning too, and respond that law schools actually already do give students the experiential learning they need, by means other than course work. A commenter quoted in Brian’s post went so far as to argue that two summer jobs are “not dissimilar” to medical school clinical rotations. That position I think is untenable.  Not only is medical school clinical rotation much more extensive than two summers' worth of clerkship, but in addition medical school rotations are part of school - structured academic instruction - and summer jobs, as valuable as they surely are, aren't school.

One might also accept all this, but respond that the choice of what courses to take should belong to the students themselves. Certainly choice is important. But we teach in law schools, and it’s built in from the start in our schools that most of the courses students take must be law courses – rather than, say, political science or humanities. Even within the domain of law courses, many or most schools restrict student choice significantly – notably by prescribing most or all of the first-year curriculum and sometimes parts of the upper-year curriculum as well. I think the question is not whether we will limit students’ choices, but how much and for what reasons. And on that score, I wonder whether part of the sense that 15 credits of experiential learning is too much might arise from a perception of “skills” as a single subject, rather than as a very wide range of different competencies that get used in different ways in different settings. We routinely allocate 60 credits or more to teaching “doctrine” and the skill of legal reasoning; it does not seem too much to allocate 15 to other skills of practice. Within those 15 credits, I’d certainly hope that law schools will offer their students a substantial range of courses from which to choose. 

One last point on the question of “how much?” Bob Kuehn has compiled figures on the “practice-based and clinical education” requirements in a range of other professions: architecture, dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, and veterinary. Each of these requires at least one quarter of students’ training to be in clinical settings; some require one third and, last but not least, medicine requires one half (and that doesn’t include the years of supervised post-graduate clinical training that follow receiving the M.D.) The CLEA proposal is that approximately one-sixth of law students’ training be in experiential courses. It seems to me that the burden is on those who disagree with this proposal to explain why law students, unlike their peers in other professions, do not need this level of experiential preparation for the work they will soon be doing.

Reply by Brian Leiter:

Stephen states very well the value of experiential learning in law school, and on that point, I have no dispute with him.  The only question concerns what should be required.  Most law schools already require most of one of the three years of study.  Although there is variation in what is and is not required in that first year (Chicago does not require constitutional law, Yale does not require property), it is apparent that almost all law schools require all students to take, in some form or other, the basic private law subjects (contracts, torts, property), substantive criminal law, civil procedure (the rules of court procedure outside the criminal context), and basic legal research and writing at the start of their education.  I have my own doubts about that particular mix of requirements, but I have no doubts (and I do not think Stephen does either) that some doctrinal requirements in the first year, along with the crucial legal research and writing, are the crucial foundations.  (I can recall entering practice roughly 25 years ago and finding that the knowledge and skills I needed most often came from first-year contracts, civil procedure, and legal research and writing.  My impression, in the form of lots of anecdata, is that my experience was not anomalous.)  The first-year requirements, whatever their precise mix, help students learn how to read judicial opinions, teach them core rules that govern our private and public interactions, expose them to reasoning by analogy, model and demand some dialectical engagement, and teach them how to research legal issues. 

Stephen and I are, I take it, in agreement about the value of those requirements, so the only question in debate is how much else should be required

The candidates for more requirements are always numerous.  Here, in no paritcular order, are some subjects I've heard passionate arguments for as requirements:  Accounting, Evidence, Statistics for Lawyers, Constitutional Law,  Legislation, International Law, and, yes, Jurisprudence.  (In Oxford, but also in many European and South American countries that I have visited, Jurisprudence is a required course; since it is typically an undergraduate degree, 18- or 19-year-olds are often required to read Kelsen, which, personally, I think should give rise to an action in tort.) 

I teach two of those subjects, and with respect to one (Jurisprudence), I would strongly oppose a requirement, even though I think it is undoubtedly the most important and profound subject in the curriculum (at least as I teach it!), but I also am quite confident that many excellent students graduate law school without taking it and go on to distinguished legal careers in the private and public sectors.  And so, too, with Evidence:  certainly it has the virtue of being a bar exam subject, and no doubt that is why almost all students take it.  But the reality is that many lawyers--tax lawyers, regulatory lawyers, estate lawyers--have no need to understand the Hearsay Rule and its three dozen exceptions.

As a general pedagogical matter, I favor choice.  I also think law schools and law professors have an obligation to provide guidance, since even after the first year, law students still need a lot of guidance.  But substantive guidance is one thing and more requirements is another.  And there is no reason to mandate as a blanket requirement 15 hours of experiential learning.

Law schools differ, in their student bodies, in their employment outcomes.  Law students differ, in their personal and professional goals, and in their intellectual interests.  There should be a very strong presumption against any proposal of the form that, "200 law schools, and 40,000 law students all must do X."  I have written letters of recommendation for and advised many students have gone on to the most competitive federal appellate court clerkships in the United States, both when I was at Texas and since moving to Chicago in 2008.  The judges often tell the students they hire in their second year what they expect them to do during their remaining time in law school.  Not once have I heard of a circuit court judge who demanded that the student take more "experiential learning" courses.  To the contrary, they want their clerks to take Federal Courts, Administrative Law, sometimes Criminal Procedure, sometimes Securities Regulation (it often depends on the circuit):  in other words, they want their students to have deeper and broader knowledge of legal doctrine.

So, too, with the former students who have gone on to the leading private law firms, both the Cravaths and Skaddens, as well as the Bartlit Becks and Susman Godfreys of the world.  What these employers want to know is:  how smart is this student?  how good is her writing?  In twenty years, no hiring partner ever asked me, "How many experiential courses did this student take?"

I have taught fabulous students over the last twenty years, and there is no reason legal education should be designed around them and their employers.  But there is also no reason legal education should be designed without regard for them.   Forcing most of these students do to fifteen hours of experiential classes would not have made any of them, I venture, worse, but it would not have given most of them any real benefit.  Some of them would have been forced to drop some of the advanced commercial law classes, or the advanced procedure classes they might have taken.  Those doing JD/PhDs--and, yes, they are students too!--would have had to take classes that would have contributed nothing to their academic work and careers.

And then there is the reality that no law school in the United States that I am aware of is actually equipped to offering "experiential" learning adequate to the full range of careers lawyers actually pursue.    Suppose a student wants to pursue a career in corporate and partnership tax.  How many law schools offer meaningful "experiential" learning for that?  Suppose some do; how many could realistically?  Suppose a student wants to go into high-stakes M&A litigation.  Which law schools offer meaningful experiential litigation to that end?  How many could outside those in a few major cities?  I have a relative who went to a top law school and works in a thriving field, health law, with a focus on regulatory compliance.  Her most valuable "experiential" course in law school was contract drafting, and there was no clinical offering that would have been of any use to her; I've yet to see a law school that was different.

There is no question that law schools should be allowed to require the kinds of education Stephen describes, based on their judgment either that their students all need it or their judgment that students should come to them if that's what they offer.  But I think it would be outrageous to demand that every student be saddled with another 15 hours of requirements based on the claim that some students might benefit from such courses. 

I am utterly unmoved by what schools for dentists, animal doctors, nurses, etc. require.  The comparison betrays a profound misunderstanding of the law.  Oxford's H.L.A. Hart, the greatest legal philosopher of the last century, noted that you can not understand law and legal systems unless you realize that they centrally involve  rules.  His critics, like the late legal philosopher Ronald Dworkin, drew attention to the fact that how lawyers reason and argue about rules is just as important.  Both Hart and Dworkin highlight the crucial fact about lawyering that distinguishes it from dentistry:  law is fundamentally a discursive discipline, dealing in norms, arguments, and reasons.  That is why legal education, in both the United States and Europe and every other democracy I am aware of, emphasizes learning legal rules and legal reasoning.  One needs a lot of knowledge to be a good dentist, to be sure, but a lot of good dentistry is not a matter of knowing rules and how to reason about them.

One theme in recent discussions about reforms to the ABA regulation of law schools--a theme to which I am sympathetic--is that we should permit more experimentation in models of legal education.  Experimentation means that individual law schools should, of course, be permitted to mandate the requirements that Stephen envisions.  But there is no reason to mandate that all law schools follow the same model.

Comments are open:  full name and valid e-mail address required.

http://leiterlawschool.typepad.com/leiter/2014/01/ellmann-the-proposed-clinicalexperiential-learning-requirement.html

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Comments

For students interested in corporate/securities/tax, clinical offerings are often a poor fit. There are a few entrepreneurship clinics that work very well, but cannot satisfy student demand. Simulations, which are easier to scale up to larger classes, are one possible solution. 1. Is there any evidence that clinical education is more effective than simulations? 2. What is the pedagogical reason to keep clinical/simulation experiences separate from doctrinal classes?

Mandating clinical coursework may work well at top schools with a lot of resources. At lower-ranked schools, I worry that the requirement will be satisfied by sending students out to poorly supervised externships.

While I share the view that we should provide all students with the opportunity to develop skills relevant to their future work, and indeed try to do a lot of this work in my doctrinal classes, I think we should allow different law schools to take different approaches.

Posted by: Victor Fleischer | Jan 7, 2014 9:53:48 AM

I appreciate Brian’s thoughtful response to my post. We agree about a lot – essentially, we both believe that both doctrinal and experiential classes are valuable parts of a law school education. But we do still disagree as well, and I want to address some of our disagreements here.

The question is whether requiring experiential education as a fraction – about one-sixth – of students’ law school study makes sense. Brian argues that for many students such courses would be of little value and in fact would impede the valuable learning they are engaged in, and if he is right that is a significant argument against the CLEA proposal. I don’t think he’s right, however, for four reasons:

First, it seems to me that Brian has overstated the necessary centrality of the study of rules and how lawyers use them. That’s not to deny that the study of rules and lawyers’ use of them is central to law school; I completely agree that it is. But the need for law students to study these matters doesn’t answer the question I pressed in my opening post – why law students, unlike their peers in other professions, don’t need a significant level of experiential education before they enter their field. Certainly it is important for law students to master law’s discursive practices, but students in other professions have very challenging intellectual tasks to master too. It seems fair to add, as well, that if 5 semesters of classroom doctrinal study haven’t taught a student those discursive tools, it might well be time for some other approach – for example, an experiential one, in which the way students master law’s discursive moves is by making them on behalf of real (or simulated) clients.

Second, I think Brian has overestimated the contribution that doctrinal teaching makes to students’ preparation for practice. Again, I do think our doctrinal classes help students get ready for the world, but Brian writes that he found when he entered practice “that the knowledge and skills [he] needed most often came from first-year contracts, civil procedure, and legal research and writing.” Brian thinks that his experience was not anomalous, and that may be; but there is research to suggest that most people’s experience is different. Rebecca Sandefur and Jeff Selbin, in their article The Clinic Effect, 16 Clinical L. Rev. 57, 85 (2009), use data from the After the J.D. study to calculate “new lawyers’ ratings of the helpfulness of legal education experiences.” As Sandefur and Selbin note, it’s quite likely that some of the new lawyers chose to express opinions about particular legal education experiences they had not had, but still the results are quite striking. The single most useful experience, according to these new lawyers, was summer legal employment, followed closely by school-year legal employment (78 % and 67%, respectively, rated these experiences as “helpful to extremely helpful”). The fact that students valued these on-the-job experiences so much is important to anyone thinking about how to structure experiential education, but so is the fact that the third most helpful experience identified was “clinical courses/training” (valued by 62 %). Upper-year lecture courses were valued by 48 %, and the first-year curriculum by 37 %. I don’t consider these results proof that the first-year curriculum is actually not helpful – but they do suggest that clinics and experiential education have something important to add.

Third, I don’t think the student experiences Brian recounts actually demonstrate that an experiential learning requirement would significantly interfere with students’ other school objectives. I do find it dismaying that many hiring partners apparently don’t care much about whether students have taken any experiential courses; to my mind, that fact – combined with the widespread calls from bar groups for more practical preparation of students – reflects a state of considerable confusion in the bar! But whatever we might need to do to persuade hiring partners that students with some practice skills are actually more valuable than those without, the fact remains that 5 semesters of non-experiential learning is a lot of time for taking the other courses students are interested in. Just to take one example: the circuit court clerks-to-be Brian mentions who are urged, in their second year, to take Federal Courts, Administrative Law, Criminal Procedure and Securities Regulation will need about 1 semester’s worth of credits to do so. Even if they don’t start taking any of these classes till their third year, they will still have about another full semester’s worth of credits at their disposal.

Fourth, I think that clinical and experiential courses can do a great deal for students interested in virtually any area of legal practice. (That goes for those of our students who are interested in teaching too – I don’t want to say that people who haven’t practiced can’t insightfully teach law, but I do think some experience with the profession their students will enter is a plus.) In the field of corporate law, there are now quite a few clinics serving not-for-profit entities, and others serving start-ups that hope to become profit-making. Simulation courses can focus directly on M & A, one of the examples Brian mentions, or securities law (as in a course on "Corporate Practice Skills" offered by my New York Law School colleague Tamara Belinfanti). The CLEA proposal calls for 15 credits of experiential education, but would only require one clinic or externship – leaving many credits available for diverse offerings using a range of experiential techniques. We could do even more if the ABA’s current rule barring students from being paid for experiences in which they earn course credits were abolished, but that’s a subject for another day.

The core of CLEA’s proposal is not a lockstep mandate for meaningless courses diverting students from their own objectives and needs. It is a call for students in law school to receive a real, though limited, amount of experiential training in the profession they are studying and, in most cases, are about to enter. In American legal education today, it’s still possible to view that as a startling change – but isn’t it really the most natural thing in the world?

Posted by: Stephen Ellmann | Jan 7, 2014 3:38:18 PM

As far as I can tell from this exchange and my casual reading, there is no reason to suppose that forcing students to go through experiential learning makes legal education better. Given the high cost of staffing live clinics and the open question of whether simulations are an adequate substitute, combined with the normative premise that coercion is bad unless it is shown to be good, legal educators ought to wait for evidence before installing this requirement. I’m not defending the status quo. Just saying that current problems in legal education and training (fewer jobs, fewer applicants to law school, displeased employers, student discontent) do not justify bossing other people around unless the bosses can connect one or more of these problems closely to the solution they want to impose.

Posted by: Anita Bernstein | Jan 7, 2014 6:18:11 PM

I was almost persuaded by Brian Leiter's post until I read the beginning of his conclusion. He writes, "[o]ne needs a lot of knowledge to be a good dentist, to be sure, but a lot of good dentistry is not a matter of knowing rules and how to reason about them." Dentists, as well as most health care professionals, absolutely do need to know the "rules" of anatomy, the circulatory system, etc. and they need to know how to reason about them. Knowing what a decayed tooth should look like doesn't always mean that you can know when to extract it and with what method. A dentist has to exercise judgment about the conditions that she treats and she must do so in the face of a great deal of uncertainty regarding the patient: how she reacts to certain treatments, what relevant illnesses she may have had in the past, what her dietary habits are, what the patient's profession is, etc.. All of these and other factors impact the treatment. Exercising judgment in the face of uncertainty is precisely what experiential courses teach. See educator Lee Shulman for extensive writings on this issue. Experiential courses are not meant to teach the substantive rules of a particular area of law. They are meant to teach students how to learn from experience, i.e., how to exercise good judgment in the face of uncertainty. It is this lack of ability to exercise judgment, to navigate the uncertainties of a complex law practice that this requirement is meant to address.

BL COMMENT: Facts about, e.g., the circulatory system are not "rules": rules are norms of behavior ("don't do X" or "do X in order to have a vavlid contract"). No one denied that all professions require knowledge of facts, including the biological laws governing the operation of the circulatory system. But biological laws are not norms in the way legal rules are, i.e., they do not offer the blood reasons to move one way rather than another, they simply describe regularities of behavior.

Posted by: Cathryn Miller-Wilson | Jan 7, 2014 9:06:41 PM

An aside regarding offerings for those students not interested in litigation. I note that a number of schools offer clinics in which students help charities organize - filing articles of incorporation, preparing bylaws, and drafting the IRS application for recognition of exemption. While the experience at my law school - and that of others with whom I have spoken - is that generally only those interested in nonprofit law take advantage of such a clinic, I do think it could be useful for many students who intend to go into transactional or regulatory areas of law. The students must help clients draft a "business plan," develop financials, and deal with regulators. All of these are tasks they will encounter when they practice.

Posted by: Ellen Aprill | Jan 8, 2014 8:47:55 AM

Professor Ellmann makes many good points and I think clinical and experiential learning opportunities are very important. Ultimately, however, I am not persuaded that they are so valuable that some experiential learning must be required by all institutions. Such a requirement may indeed crowd out other things that some students want. And it is extremely hard to identify a sort of generic experiential experience that will work for almost any type of career and thus satisfy what is being asked of it. A clinic in family law, poverty law or landlord-tenant is not going to track corporate practice much. A transaction clinic will not necessarily help those who go into criminal law. Of course many general lessons - such as being a self-starter, being responsible, learning the importance of asking questions -- will be valuable regardless. But the costs of establishing clinics mean that there may only be a small range of opportunities that most schools can offer, a range that cannot possibly cover the spectrum of potential future careers. A well-supervised externship may come closest, but even that may be of limited value to the extent that some of what the student learns is firm- or practice-specific.

[Here I want to express some dismay about Victor Fleischer's comment. In his comment he seemed to be assuming that because an externship is offered by a "lower ranked" school it is necessarily poorly supervised. With respect, I do not think it is fair to assume that all externship programs offered by lower ranked schools will be poorly supervised, not to mention that it is by no means clear what would count as "lower ranked." I cannot speak for other institutions, but TU has put in place an extensive monitoring and evaluation system for externships. Does that mean that they are all equally valuable or successful? No. However, I think there is a serious effort to continuously monitor the externships and ones which do not seem to be succeeding are cut.]

Assuming that an externship program IS well-designed, supervised and monitored, I think it is the best way to address the experiential learning issue because it can offer a wider range of specialized experience than all but the most lavishly funded schools could do through clinics and thus is the most cost effective. Clinical education is extremely expensive. When one of the most persistent criticisms of legal education is its cost it seems perverse to establish a requirement that will likely make legal education even costlier.

And if this requirement is about helping students get jobs then externships may again have an edge over clinics since they may lead to the types of contacts that can lead to jobs. On the other hands, clinics presumably offer much more structured, guided learning than is possible with probably even the best externships since teaching is ancillary to the mission of the firms and institutions in which students are placed. With respect to helping students get jobs, I think we have to consider what hiring partners actually DO, not just what they say they value. (There is some irony in requiring experiential learning to cater to practice needs and then to disregard what lawyers in practice say they want.) Whatever they say, hiring partners do seem to rely on traditional markers of excellence like grades and law review membership. So doing well in your basic classes is still the best strategy for most law students.

However, another reason BOTH externships and clinical experiences are valuable is because they offer the opportunity for students to discover what they do NOT want to do. That is very valuable indeed, although that is a very different kind of justification than the analogy to clinical rotations in medical education. The law student who graduates and discovers he/she does not like big law (or indeed any law) practice is not a recent phenomena. The stakes are just higher today because of the competitiveness of the job market and the cost of the education. So a chance to discover what you don't want to do may be the most important aspect of experiential learning.

Posted by: Tamara Piety | Jan 8, 2014 10:16:05 AM

Anita Bernstein is right that there's a lot we don't know - but that is true for our entire curriculum, not just experiential learning.

At the same time, we do know some things. Bob Kuehn has demonstrated in his essay "Pricing Clinical Legal Education" that clinics just aren't prohibitively expensive – since, for example, schools that require or guarantee them don't in fact charge higher tuition than those without such policies.

We also have some important information about simulations. Simulations aren’t a new arrival on the law school scene – a lot of students have taken Trial Advocacy or participated in moot court programs, to name the most obvious examples. An interesting piece of empirical research, the NALP "2010 Survey of Law School Experiential Learning Opportunities and Benefits," adds to our understanding of the value of such courses. In this survey the respondents, private firm associates, ranked the usefulness of four different experiences in "preparing for the practice of law." (The respondents, incidentally, only ranked experiences that they themselves had had.) On a four point scale, with 4 meaning "very useful" and 1 "not at all useful," clinics were rated a 3.4. So were externships/field placements. Skills courses earned a 3.1 - lower than clinics and externships, but not vastly lower. Interestingly, given the current rise of pro bono requirements for bar admission, these respondents ranked pro bono work at a 2.2.

NALP subsequently surveyed nonprofit and government lawyers, and reported the results in the "2011 Survey of Law School Experiential Learning Opportunities and Benefits – Responses from Government and Nonprofit Lawyers." These lawyers ranked all of their law school experiential opportunities more positively as preparation for the practice of law than did their private firm counterparts (who, as noted, were quite positive themselves). Clinics were rated a 3.8 on the same 4-point scale; externships/field placements 3.6; skills courses 3.3; and pro bono work a 3.2.

This survey also asked respondents how useful each of these experiences had been in getting their first job in a public interest or government setting – a point of some relevance to our discussion, since one question that’s been raised is whether experiential education actually helps students get jobs (as distinguished from preparing them to do the jobs well once they get them). On this score, skills courses didn’t do particularly well (2.4), and the value of pro bono was somewhat muted (2.9), but clinics scored a 3.3 and externships/field placements were ranked 3.6. That externships/field placements should be so valuable in the students’ job search isn’t surprising – a central part of what these opportunities provide is actual contact with the legal communities in which students hope to work.

It seems to me that we have a lot to do on what might be called a "tactical" level, in figuring out which courses do what best and why. Those are questions that would take time to address, and I would not suggest instituting the 15-experiential-credits rule overnight. But I think we have sound reason to say that the broad strategy - that every law student should have a real encounter, in school, with the practice of law - is correct.

Posted by: Stephen Ellmann | Jan 8, 2014 10:16:20 AM

The interesting survey results that Stephen mentions, and especially the variation in responses between private and public sector lawyers, seems to me yet a further argument for not making this a requirement. The fact (if it is a fact, I have not examined the study referenced) that tuition is the same at schools with more clinical offerings as those with fewer does not show anything about the cost, unless it controls for all the other variables related to tuition. I have yet to meet a law school Dean (including Deans who are big champions of clinical education) who did not remark that it is much more costly than classroom instruction (how could it not be given the student-faculty ratios required to make it work?).

Posted by: Brian Leiter | Jan 8, 2014 10:39:38 AM

My point about Bob Kuehn’s study is not that financing clinics has no cost implications, but rather that it’s important not to see those cost implications as prohibitive. The data Bob has collected show quite strongly that clinics needn’t be, and aren’t, budget-busters. Though some might disagree, I think one promising way to deliver valuable clinical experience at reasonable cost is to place clinics at law offices with attorneys from those offices appointed as adjunct faculty (and with support and training in the art of clinical teaching from the school). These aren’t a substitute for clinics taught by full-time faculty, but I think they can be a valuable complement to the other parts of an experiential curriculum.
Since our discussion seems to be winding down, I want to take a moment to thank Brian again for opening his blog for this conversation, and to thank both Brian and the other commenters for their thoughtful agreements and disagreements.

Posted by: Stephen Ellmann | Jan 9, 2014 11:50:38 AM

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