Spring 2019 Course Schedule

Supervised Externship Fieldwork (LAW-899-003)
Christiane Sorel


Enrolled: 5 / Limit:

Administrator Access


To register for this class, please do the following: (1) Register on-line for the seminar as you would for any class, and (2) register for the field placement by going to the Externship Page www.wcl.american.edu/externship and submitting a Request for Approval, which generates the necessary forms.


When an Externship Seminar student asked a guest speaker about work-life balance, the Big Law executive partner replied, “it’s all life.” The seminar is indeed a distinct way to look at a rich variety of topics, including your work in the placement, expectations about the role of the lawyer and maybe the role of the law student, plus we look at career paths. Our class is a room of candor and a place to look at some hard topics. We look at career success as a lawyer or as a professional with a law degree, and we also look at the stresses of being a law student that may eventually become the stresses of practicing law. Unlike other WCL Externship sections open to students in a variety of placements, this section is meant to be taken in conjunction with a field placement in a government agency. 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. Class sessions will include discussions of assigned readings, externship experiences, and problem situations. Written work includes a goals memorandum, weekly journal entries, and a final reflective paper. 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. The real “agenda” of this course is you, your goals, and your experiences at your placements during the semester. Developing the capacity to critically examine your goals will hopefully prove invaluable as you enter the profession after graduation. A regular habit of analyzing your experiences, values, and expectations will help you to select strategies that make your professional career both more effective and meaningful. I am always willing to help students in their career search. The class meets on Tuesdays, from 4:00 to 5:50 pm. General learning outcomes and assessment methods for all WCL externship seminars are available at www.wcl.american.edu/externship/seminars.cfm. Our textbook is Leah Wortham, Alexander Scherr, Nancy Maurer, and Susan Brooks, Learning from Practice (West Academic 3rd Edition 2016) - ISBN: 9781634596183.

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.

First Class Readings

Not available at this time.