Supervised Extshp Sem (LAW-769-004)
IMPORTANT: CLASS WILL MEET IN SMALL GROUPS FOR AN EXTRA HOUR EVERY OTHER WEEK. The time/place of this extra meeting is determined by the professor. REGISTRATION: There are two parts to registering for an externship: 1) Register on-line for the seminar as you would for any class. 2) Register for the field placement by going to the Externship Page www.wcl.american.edu/externship and submit a Request for Approval, which generates the necessary forms.
This is a three 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. 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. The class will meet weekly for two hours (Wednesday, from 3:00 pm to 4:50 pm). Classes will include discussion of assigned readings, externship experiences, and problem situations. In addition, students will be divided into two smaller groups with each small group meeting for an hour every other week on an alternating basis at a time to be scheduled. Required written work includes a goals memorandum, 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
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REQUIRED: Leah Wortham, Alexander Scherr, Nancy Maurer, and Susan Brooks, Learning from Practice (West Academic 3rd Edition 2016) - ISBN: 9781634596183
First Class Readings
Leah Wortham, Alexander Scherr, Nancy Maurer, and Susan 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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