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A Conscious Institutional Strategy for Expanding Experiential Education

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Abstract: As law schools seek to better prepare students for the profession, they are searching for opportunities to expose students to practical learning opportunities during the entire course of their legal education by incorporating experiential education throughout the curriculum. Numerous measures can be part of a conscious institutional strategy to promote experiential education. These include: Hiring faculty with significant law practice experience or education in teaching methods; Recognizing the scholarship of teaching for tenure purposes; Providing incentives to promote experiential education, such as offering teaching innovation grants to faculty to encourage the creation of new curriculum structures or the incorporation of experiential exercises into course; Supporting faculty attendance at teaching conferences, and holding regular in-house faculty teaching workshops that feature experiential education and sharing ideas for integrating theory, doctrine, and practice; Encouraging doctrinally-focused faculty, especially those who do not have significant practice experience, to collaborate with either clinical faculty or local practitioners to co-create and co-teach courses with experiential components; Appointing an Associate Dean or Director of Experiential Learning. This section of the forthcoming book Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World (Lexis 2015) discusses these strategies, with an emphasis on considerations for appointing someone to lead this effort. The content of this SSRN posting is material that was published in the book Building on Best Practices: Transforming Legal Education in a Changing World, Maranville, et al., Lexis Nexis 2015. The content has been posted on SSRN with the express permission of Lexis Nexis and of Carolina Academic Press, publisher of the book as of January 1, 2016.

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