Fall 2016 Course Schedule

Supervised Extshp Sem (LAW-769-002)

Meets: 04:00 PM - 05:50 PM (T) - Capital - Room C217

Enrolled: 15 / Limit: 16

Administrator Access


FIRST CLASS: Class will not be held on Tuesday, August 23. The first class meeting for this course will be on Tuesday, August 30. A make-up class will be scheduled on either Friday, September 9 or Friday, September 16. SMALL GROUPS: CLASS WILL MEET IN SMALL GROUPS FOR AN EXTRA HOUR EVERY OTHER WEEK. We will meet either before or after class (at WCL) or at another scheduled time (i.e. downtown during lunch hour) and will be scheduled during the first class. 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. Why is lawyering a special profession? In this three-credit graded seminar, we will explore the meaning of being a lawyer and a member of the legal profession. We will talk about the variety of roles lawyers may play in society and the wide range of experiences available to those with law degrees. We will do so through the prism of students' field placements in non-profit organizations, courts, government agencies, and/or private law firms doing pro bono work, as well as panels with members of DC's legal community. We will explore lawyers' ethical obligations and the unique responsibilities that come with having specialized skills, including the obligation to protect the rights of others - whether the most vulnerable in society or the most affluent, individuals or organizations. We will talk about the nature of the lawyer-client relationship and the unique challenges associated with client-centered representation. We'll address diversity and difference in the legal profession, both in the workplace and among the profession's leaders. We'll also reflect on how lawyers' personal values may impact their professional decisions and career choices. Finally, we'll talk about how to forge a professional path and be professionally fulfilled while also maintaining a healthy work-life balance. This will be an interactive seminar, where we will learn from each other's experiences in order to develop and refine our own sensibilities about what type of lawyer we want to become. The diversity of students' field placements and a high level of student preparation will guarantee us healthy and informative class discussions.

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.

The required text for this course is Learning from Practice: A Professional Development Text for Legal Externs (3rd Edition) by Wortham, Scherr, Maurer, Brooks. It should be available in the book store for purchase. In addition, students will be assigned readings in the form of journal articles, newspaper clippings, book excerpts and other media. A “Course Schedule and Assignments” document will be posted on MyWCL and updated frequently to reflect the required reading and other course assignments. (The date of the latest revision will be noted.) Required readings will be made available electronically at least one week in advance on MyWCL. Students are responsible for checking MyWCL regularly for updates, announcements, and readings. Reading and assignments for the following week will also be reviewed at the conclusion of each class.

First Class Readings

Not available at this time.


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