Thursday, July 9, 2015

RFP: Externships 8, March 3-6, 2016 at Cleveland-Marshall (deadline Oct. 2, 2015)

Via Carole O. Heyward:

March 3-6, 2016, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, Cleveland, Ohio
DEADLINE: Friday, October 2, 2015

Externships 8:

Building on Common Ground: Externships, Clinics and Practice-Based Legal Education
Externships have become a steadily more prominent component of experiential
education, drawing increased attention from the ABA, from scholars and from law
schools. The recently adopted ABA standards on experiential courses chart new paths
for field placement teaching while recent scholarship has produced a new statement of
best practices for externships, resources for teaching externship seminars and works on
outcomes, assessment, and evaluation of student learning. Finally, externship courses
continue to grow in number and to diversify in approach, from full-time
semester-in-practice programs to externship components in traditional classes.

The Externships 8 Conference, to be held March 3-6, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio, will focus
on the roles that externship courses play alongside other forms of experiential legal
education, including in-house clinics and simulation classes. It will address the distinct
features of externship courses, discuss how they relate to other kinds of experiential
courses and explore the many different ways to assess and enhance their unique

The conference will also focus on the fundamentals and best practices of externship
teaching. Separate tracks for new and for experienced externship teachers will offer
both familiar and new ideas on core externship challenges: how to deliver a seminar;
how to train and collaborate with site supervisors; how to teach the skill of reflection
and use it in the course; and how to translate what students learn into transferable skills
and values for the future.


We encourage you to propose a topic that will develop the dual conference themes of
externships’ relationship to other forms of experiential education and best practices in
externship design and delivery. We append to this RFP a list of specific ideas as
prompts for proposals.


Externship teaching involves an increasingly broad range of law school personnel:
tenured or tenure-track faculty; long-term or short-term contract clinicians; part-time
faculty; administrators; field supervisors; career services professionals; and others. The
conference theme focuses on the common ground between externships and other
clinical experiences; accordingly, we invite participation by those who teach in-house
clinics and simulation courses and who are interested in integrating practice-based
learning into the curriculum. We also solicit active participation by international
clinicians, both as participants and presenters.

Proposals for New and Experienced Clinicians

The Organizing Committee expects to offer programming both for those new to field
placement work and for experienced clinicians. We plan to offer sessions in each time
slot that will attract attendees in each group. We ask that you identify which audience
you plan to address – new or experienced or both - in your proposal.

Formats and Publication

The Organizing Committee seeks proposals in several different formats. We solicit
proposals for concurrent sessions to last a full concurrent time slot. We also seek
suggested topics for and facilitators to convene affinity groups, designed for those
attendees who would like to meet with others to discuss common issues. Groups may
form according to geographical region, subject matter (e.g., prosecutorial externships),
or concerns (e.g., ABA issues).

We may also offer sessions consisting of short, “TED Talk-like” presentations of 10 to 20
minutes. We also invite proposals for poster presentations.

Lastly, we welcome proposals to present scholarly works-in-progress, to last 20
minutes. The Clinical Law Review has agreed to consider papers emerging from the
conference (whether from a works-in-progress session or any other conference session)
for publication in a special issue. No guarantee of publication exists; all papers will be
reviewed in accordance with the Clinical Law Review’s normal standards. Potential
authors must submit final drafts of manuscripts no later than June 1, 2016, for

Proposal Selection Criteria

In general, the Organizing Committee will favor proposals that address the conference
theme, are relevant to conference attendees, are well-defined and focused, are timely
and important, and show care and thoughtfulness in development. In addition,
proposals should:

– demonstrate innovation, either in the choice of topic or in the angle of
approach to a familiar topic;

– include presenters who have significant expertise in the topic or a base of
experience that provides a unique or useful vantage point on the topic;

– indicate specifically how the presentation will encourage active learning,
including specific methods for engaging in interaction with the audience; and

– describe how attendees will be offered strategies for implementing new ideas
when they return to their schools.

Finally, we value diversity, both in the composition of presenting teams and in your
topic’s presentation of diversity and inclusiveness as a concern in field placement work.
The Organizing Committee will consider diversity in terms of race, gender, ethnicity,
disability, sexual orientation, geographical location, years of experience, type of school,
type of program and other factors.

Deadlines and Instructions:


We encourage you to contact members of the working group responsible for conference
content to discuss your ideas as you prepare a proposal. This group includes:

Carole O. Heyward,
Bob Jones,
Carolyn Wilkes Kaas,
Alex Scherr,
Beth Schwartz,
Kelly Terry,


This document includes both a cover sheet for proposals and a template for a more
detailed description of the proposal.

Complete the Cover Sheet AND the Detailed Proposal and submit them no later than
Friday, October 2, 2015 to:

By Friday, October 30, 2015, we will notify the contact person for each proposal. We
may contact you sooner to discuss modifications or to suggest collaborations. After
confirming your participation, we will assign a member of the Organizing Committee
to your group to help you to prepare and to assure that your eventual presentation and
materials meet the expectations stated in the criteria for selection.


-- Ideas about best practices in externship teaching.

-- Integration of externship courses into the experiential curriculum, including the
sequencing and scaffolding of externships, in-house clinics and other courses.

-- Distinctive features and opportunities of externships as practice-based education.

-- Participation and status of externship clinicians in law schools, alongside in-house
clinicians and other faculty.

-- Employing externship teaching methods in non-externship classes (e.g., hybrids,
practicums, pop-ups, and add-ons).

-- Working effectively within law schools to promote externships and to secure the
resources necessary for effective program operation.

-- Management of the complex administrative tasks associated with externship courses.

-- “How to” sessions on externship pedagogy, including:

- Student supervision by both site supervisors and externship teachers;

– The classroom experience, both traditional and non-traditional, as a vehicle for
reforming students’ experiences of law school;

– The role of field supervisors as teachers, the training of and ongoing
collaboration with supervisors, and the selection of field placements; and

–Reflective practice as an important aspect of education reform, including
methods for encouraging, teaching and assessing reflection.

--Design and delivery of externship opportunities for students in part-time programs.

–Field placement courses in other countries, and a comparative assessment of those
courses, including differences in cultural, structural and financial pressures.

– The impact of newly revised ABA and state-level standards.

-- The growth, role and administration of semester-away programs.

– The use of technology in field placement programs.

Cover Sheet for Proposal for Externships 8

Send this cover sheet and proposal via e-mail by October 2, 2015 to:

The Organizing Committee will use the information on this cover sheet both to review
proposals and to prepare the conference brochure. Please include a contact person and
the name of all known presenters. We will correspond only with the contact person.

Make sure that all information is complete and accurate.

Please note: Presenters must pay the same conference registration fee as participants.
Program Title:
Contact Person’s Name:
Name of School (as listed in the AALS Directory):
Others Presenters and Schools (as listed in AALS Directory):

Format (check all for which you are willing to have your proposal considered):
_____ Full concurrent session
_____ Workshop/affinity group discussion by geographic region (e.g., urban,
Southeast U.S., international)
_____ Workshop/affinity group discussion by topic or practice area (e.g.,
judicial, criminal defense, semester-away)
_____ Scholarly work-in-progress (20 minutes)
_____ Short presentation (10–20 minutes, TED Talk or similar format)
_____ Poster presentation

New or Experienced Clinicians Track:
_____ New
_____ Experienced
_____ Both

Will you prepare a paper based on your presentation? ____ Yes ____ No

Detailed Proposal for Externships 8


Abstract of your presentation: Describe the content of your presentation. In doing so,
identify the points of innovation in the topic or in your approach and describe the
expertise or experience base of the presenters. For concurrent sessions, specify the
preferred length of the session. We are considering sessions ranging from 60-90
minutes. If you propose to convene a workshop or discussion for an affinity group,
identify the potential participants and the goals for your gathering.

Method of presentation: Describe how you propose to present your material. In doing
so, describe how you will assure active learning by your audience and discuss how you
will provide strategies that attendees may use to implement your ideas when they
return to their schools. Finally, describe any materials you propose to distribute before
or during your presentation.

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