Spring 2017 Course Schedule

Supervised Externship Seminar (LAW-769-004)
Joseph Kaplan

Meets: 06:00 PM - 07:50 PM (W) - Warren - Room NT02

Enrolled: 8 / Limit: 15

Administrator Access


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. The work of the course is to examine your placement experience—legal work, relationships between lawyers and clients, relationships between lawyers and the peers and supervisors, and the legal and professional systems in which you find yourself. The main goal is to provide a framework for you to reflect on and learn from your externship experience beyond the substantive legal work in which you will be engaged. Developing the capacity to reflect on and critically examine your goals at this stage in your career will prove invaluable as you enter the profession after graduation. The content of the classes will be general, designed to be applicable and beneficial to students with a broad array of interests and externship placements. Rather than focusing on a particular body of law or a particular set of technical lawyering skills, this course focuses on the professional development of the students. Topics will include professionalism, learning from supervision, management skills, balancing personal and professional life, and legal ethics. While readings from the text or supplemental materials are required for the class, the real focus of this course is you, the student -- your goals, and your experiences at your placements during the semester. The class will meet weekly for two hours, each Wednesday evening, from 6 pm to 8 pm. Classes will include discussion of assigned readings, externship experiences, problem situations, and role plays. In addition, students will be divided into two smaller groups with each small group meeting for 50 minutes every other week on an alternating basis immediately following class (8:00 – 8:50 pm). Required 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, whether something of interest from the student’s 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.

Learning From Practice: A text for Experiential Legal Education, 3rd ed, Edited by LEAH WORTHAM, ALEXANDER SCHERR, NANCY MAURER, SUSAN L. BROOKS (West Academic Publishing 2016)

First Class Readings

Not available at this time.


Use your MyAU username and password to access the syllabus in the following format(s):