Externship Seminar (LAW-769-E003)
All summer 2020 classes will be taught online. Classes may have a combination of live sessions and asynchronous materials/assignments. The block of time listed here will be the maximum amount of live session meeting time expected of you and may be decreased to the extent of asynchronous material added.
Externship seminars provide students with an opportunity to engage in critical reflection about the legal profession. This is a two-credit seminar to be taken in conjunction with a field placement in a court, government agency, or non-profit organization. Students in all types of field placements are welcome. The overall 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. We will explore why you want to practice law; evaluate whether your goals and career choices are consistent with your purposes; discuss how to navigate the tumultuous times we currently live in; and talk about how you can maximize you happiness as a lawyer. We will also look at various challenges and issues that arise in the practice of law. Topics are likely to include the nature of law practice in different settings (including private firms, public interest organizations, and government agencies), professionalism, learning from supervision, management skills, balancing personal and professional life, and legal ethics. Other topics that may be covered include theories of bureaucracy in relation to the lawyering process, legal ethics in theory and practice, issues of gender, race, and difference in the legal profession, and the profession’s history. Students are encouraged to explore their professional development through discussions of critique and self-evaluation, the transition from school to work, and career goals and planning. The format of the virtual class will be discussion-based and will include simulations, speaker series, and issue polling. Required written work includes a goals memorandum, weekly journal entries, and two 5-page reflective papers. Other writing may be assigned. In addition, toward the end of the semester, each student will do an in-class presentation on a topic that relates in some way to the course, whether it is something of interest from his or her fieldwork placement or general issues of lawyering. The class will meet weekly (Wednesday, from 6:00 pm to 8:45 pm). General learning outcomes and assessment methods for all WCL externship seminars are available at https://www.wcl.american.edu/academics/experientialedu/externships/current-students/seminars/externship-supervision-goals-and-learning-outcomes/.
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.
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