Fall 2019 Course Schedule

Supervised Externship Seminar (LAW-769-001)
Jonathan Lawlor

Meets: 03:00 PM - 04:50 PM (W) - Capital - Room C217

Enrolled: 10 / Limit: 14

Administrator Access


**You must register for the fieldwork component as well (LAW-899). To do so, you must apply for your fieldwork credits through the externship office: https://www.wcl.american.edu/academics/experientialedu/externships/current-students/how-to-registar/


This is a two credit class to be taken in conjunction with a field placement in a non-profit organization, government agency, court or private law firm handling pro bono matters exclusively, or other authorized entity. Students in all types of field placements are welcome. General learning outcomes and assessment methods for all WCL externship seminars are available at https://www.wcl.american.edu/externship/seminars.cfm. The work of the course is to examine your placement experience—legal work, lawyers and clients, and the legal and professional systems in which you find yourself. The overarching goal is to provide a framework for you to reflect on and learn from your externship experience beyond the substantive legal work you will be engaged in. Developing the capacity to reflect on and examine critically your goals at this stage in your career will prove invaluable as you enter the profession after graduation. Indeed, a regular habit of analyzing your own experiences will enable you to select and implement purposefully improvements and strategies that make your professional career both more effective and meaningful. The content of the classes will be general, designed to appeal to students with a broad array of interests and externship placements. Unlike most other law school courses, rather than focusing on a particular body of legal doctrine or a particular set of technical lawyering skills, this course focuses on the professional development of the students in the class. Topics will include professionalism, learning from supervision, management skills, balancing personal and professional life, and legal ethics. While readings are required for the class, the real “text” of this course is you, your goals, and your experiences at your placements during the semester. Classes will include discussion of assigned readings, externship experiences, and problem situations. Required written work includes a goals and self-assessment form, weekly journal entries, and a final reflective paper. Other writing may be assigned. In addition, toward the end of the semester, each student will make an in-class presentation on a topic that relates in some way to the course, whether something of interest from his or her fieldwork placement or general issues of lawyering.

Textbooks and Other Materials

The textbook information on this page was provided by the instructor. Students should use this information when considering purchases from the AU Campus Store or other vendors. Students may check to determine if books are currently available for purchase online.

Leah Wortham, Alexander Scherr, Nancy Maurer, and Susan L. Brooks, Learning From Practice (3d Ed. 2016)

First Class Readings

Leah Wortham, Alexander Scherr, Nancy Maurer, and Susan L. Brooks, Learning From Practice: Chapter 1 (Introduction); Chapter 2 (Charting Your Path To Success-Professional Development Planning); and Appendix 1 (Perspectives On Lawyering)


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