Thursday, October 5, 2017

Experiential Education at the University of Chicago

I am very happy to see that one of the top law schools has recognized the importance of experiential education.

The Evolution of Experiential Learning by Becky Beaupre Gillespie.


"There are some things a lawyer just has to learn by doing—like drafting an airtight contract or spotting issues in the other side’s document. That’s why the Law School hired telecommunications attorney Joan Neal in 2010, and it’s why she’s stuck to her feedback-heavy approach rather than allowing the size of her Contract Drafting and Review class to swell in response to demand."

“You could have students read about drafting contracts or listen to me talk about drafting contracts all year long, and they’re not necessarily going to be better at doing it,” said Neal.

"This expansion reflects a natural evolution in the Law School’s commitment to helping students connect real-world lawyering to the theories they learn in doctrinal classes—and is one in a series of changes that will broaden students’ options for meeting the American Bar Association’s new experiential learning requirement, which goes into effect this year with the Class of 2019."

“Our job is not just to help them get ready for their first job out of law school, although that’s part of it,” he said [Jeff Leslie]. “Experiential learning gives students the lifelong habits and attitudes that will help them grow and develop and be self-reflective as practitioners in whatever field they go into and whatever they’re doing.”

"She will also teach Advanced Contract Skills, a new experiential class that she’s designing from scratch."

The article contains many other things UC is doing to connect theory to practice.

(Scott Fruehwald)

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