Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, June 27, 2011

Article on Experiential Learning in Trusts and Estates Courses

Beyer Mary_RadfordGerry W. Beyer (Governor Preston E. Smith Regents Professor of Law, Texas Tech University School of Law) and Mary F. Radford (Professor of Law, Georgia State University College of Law) recently posted their article entitled Experiential Learning in Trusts and Estates Courses (2011) on SSRN. The abstract is below:

The Legal Education Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel has had extensive discussions about the increasing need for law schools to provide students with opportunities to engage in skills-related or experiential learning courses. Many Committee members observed that, as the large firms are cutting back on their hiring and many lawyers in all sizes of firms are being forced to be more focused on the bottom line, there are fewer and fewer opportunities for new young lawyers to receive the mentoring and training they need. Additionally, given the sad state of the job market, many of us are seeing our students start up their own firms immediately upon graduation.

In addition, the American Bar Association is placing more emphasis on experiential learning in its accreditation process. Standard 302(a)(4) requires law schools to provide each student with, “professional skills generally regarded as necessary for effective and responsible participation in the legal profession.” Interpretation 302-2 provides the following non-exclusive list of programs that fulfill this Standard: “[t]rial and appellate advocacy, alternative methods of dispute resolution, counseling, interviewing, negotiating, problem solving, factual investigation, organization and management of legal work, and drafting.”

Mary F. Radford and Gerry W. Beyer chaired a subcommittee to gather information on what types of experiential learning opportunities are being offered or being considered in our area of the law. The results of this survey are provided in this article. The authors provide contact information for many of the professors using the techniques and encourage you to contact them to learn more about their techniques and to share your own experiences.


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