Externships 9: Coming of Age















Conference Schedule

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ThursdayFriday | Saturday | Sunday



Registration Hirsch Hall, Second Floor 5:30 p.m. –8:30 p.m.
Reception Hirsch Hall, Rotunda 7:00 p.m. –8:30 p.m.

Sponsored by
The New England Network of Externships
Boston University School of Law
Quinnipiac University School of Law
Roger Williams School of Law
Suffolk University Law School
University of Connecticut School of Law
University of Maine School of Law


Registration Hirsch Hall, Second Floor 7:00 a.m. 
Wellness Event Rusk Hall, Larry Walker 7:00 a.m. –8:00 a.m.


Join Alison Lintal, our colleague from Penn State Dickinson Law, who will lead us in a yoga session on Friday morning - to stretch, breathe, and get ready to leap into the first day of our conference.  (Conference clothes are fine, the goal is for folks to be able to head off from yoga to morning session - new clinicians, scholarship or sightseeing).


Breakfast Hirsch Hall, First Floor 8:00 a.m – 9:00 a.m.

New Clinicians


Larry Walker Room, Rusk Hall

8:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

  8:00 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

This will allow new members of our community to meet each other and will introduce participants to the overall externship community, including a discussion of our associations, committees, and general resources.

  • Beth Schwartz, Fordham University School of Law
  • Inga Laurent, Gonzaga University School of Law


Program Design 8:45 a.m.-9:40 a.m.

This session will share a range of organizational structures of the departments where an externship program can be housed.

  • Libby Davis, Lewis and Clark Law School
  • Sophia Hamilton, Pepperdine School of Law
  • Millicent Newhouse, University of Baltimore School of Law
  • Moderator: Esther Park, University of Washington School of Law


Academic Component 9:45am-10:40am

This module will discuss various models that can be used to satisfy ABA requirements for guided reflection and more. We will focus on the why (the goals behind different models), the what (which “top topics” to teach), and the who (the role of the instructor). Panelists represent a range of structures.

  • Marcia Levy, Columbia Law School
  • Lisa Mead, Director of Extern and Field Placement Programs at UCLA School of Law University of California-Los Angeles School of Law
  • Thiadora Pina, Santa Clara University School of Law
  • Moderator: Alexi Freeman, Denver University Sturm College of Law


 Relationships with Field Supervisors 10:50 a.m.- 11:45 a.m.

This module will focus on the externship faculty/staff role with field supervisors. We will discuss different methods of establishing/approving sites, strategies for maintaining relationships and handling problem sites, and methods of training supervisors. The panel will include faculty from a range of community sizes and those who are part of a consortium as well as flying solo; we’ll also include an externship supervisor’s perspective.

  • Courtney Brooks, University of New Hampshire School of Law
  • Amanda Bynum, University of Arizona James E. Rogers School of Law
  • Laura Fry, University of Southern California Gould School of Law
  • Externship supervisor TBA
  • Moderator: Sarah Shalf, Emory Law School


Scholarship Workshop Hirsch Hall, Room I 9:00 a.m. -11:45 a.m.

The AALS Externship Committee’s Scholarship and Professional Engagement Subcommittee will facilitate this Scholarship and Professional Engagement Workshop. The first part of the workshop will focus on how to find writing ideas, collaborators, time to write, and publication options. During the second part of the workshop, participants will discuss and receive feedback on either an initial (“half-baked”) writing idea or an initial article draft (for those who indicated an interest in developing an article for publication in the Clinical Law Review based on a concurrent presentation).


Opportunities and Challenges of Engaging in Scholarship 9:00 a.m. -10:00 a.m.
  • Carmia Caesar, Howard University School of Law
  • Kate Kruse, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • Meg Reuter, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
  • Kelly Terry, University of Arkansas Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law


Small Group Discussion of Writing Ideas 10:00 a.m.  – 11:15 a.m.


  • Kinda Abdus-Saboor, Georgia State University College of Law
  • Anne Gordon, Duke University School of Law


Debrief and Next Steps


11:15 a.m.  – 11:45 a.m.


Hirsch Hall, First Floor

Noon – 12:45 p.m.

Sponsored by

Albany Law School
Maurice A. Dean School of Law At Hofstra University
Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
New York Law School
Brooklyn Law School
NYU School of Law
Columbia Law School
St. John's University School of Law
Fordham Law School
Touro Law Center


Opening Comments

  • Dean Peter B. Rutledge
  • Associate Dean Alexander Scherr
Hirsch Hall, Room A

12:45 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Plenary One

Hirsch Hall, Room A

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

How Far We Have Come and How Far We Need to Go

We open the conference by examining the “Coming of Age” of externships in the Clinical Legal Education sphere. In the twenty years since the first “Externships” conference at The Catholic University of America, there has been an explosion in the number of externship courses across the academy, and with that, a growing sophistication in the pedagogy, scholarship, and creative design of externship courses and programs. Both the role of externship faculty in the academy and ABA regulation of “field placements” have evolved as well.   This panel will set the stage for the rest of the conference by reviewing the past, examining the present, and articulating the future challenges and opportunities for externship teaching.

  • Cynthia Batt, Stetson University College of Law
  • D’lorah L. Hughes, U.C. Irvine Law
  • Kate Kruse, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • Inga Laurent, Gonzaga University School of Law
  • J. P. “Sandy” Ogilvy, Columbus School of Law, CUA


  •   Robert Jones, Notre Dame Law School
  •   Carolyn Kaas, Quinnipiac University School of Law



 2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.


2:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Hirsch Hall, Room H

Looking Inward And Outward: Engaging Students In Professional Identity Development In Our Externship Seminars And In Our Wider Institutions

  • Brittany Glidden, University of California Hastings College of the Law
  • Thiadora Pina, Santa Clara University School of Law
  • Colleen Truden, McGeorge School of Law
  • Teresa Wall-Cyb, Golden Gate University School of Law

Externship courses have long-focused on professional identity formation—or the development of skills, values, ethics and self-reflection necessary for effective lawyering—in our students.  This introspective curriculum departs substantially from that taught in much of law school.  Yet, due to pressure from employers and the ABA for practice-ready students, the effort to foster students’ sense of their own professional identities is moving mainstream.  Many law schools are now seeking to incorporate professional identity formation into the curriculum and student experience more prominently.  As more attention is paid by the faculty at large, are we able to speak with expertise on this topic?  How can we best use our expertise to support other faculty and shape the curriculum going forward?

This program seeks to look inward and outward; we will first examine our own exploration of professional identity development in our seminars; and then look towards how we are bringing our expertise to the faculty and institution at large.

We will start with a short presentation about the definition of professional identity development, drawing from legal sources, training used in other professional disciplines, and psychological research.

Next, we will turn to our own externship seminars and offer three concrete assignments and exercises we use to gain “buy-in” and engage students in self-development. 

Finally, we will look to ways that externship faculty can leverage our expertise to help guide our institutions.  For example, Santa Clara University School of Law introduced a mandatory 1L class introducing legal skills through the Schultz-Zedek competencies, a curriculum that used to be the focus of the externship seminar.  Additionally, we will discuss how lunch-time sessions, orientation sessions, partnerships with law school career offices, and reflection in doctrinal/LRW courses can enhance and reinforce concepts of professional identity development.

Hirsch Hall, Room A

Training Fieldwork Supervisors: Foundations and Innovations - An Empirical View

  • Anahid Gharakhanian, Southwestern School of Law
  • Anne Gordon, Duke Law
  • Carole Heyward, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law

Effective field supervision is critical to our students’ educational experience in externship courses.  Given the broad range of externship programs across the country, schools have a range of views and approaches to helping site supervisors be effective in their role as evidenced by a survey that the panel conducted in early 2018.  In our concurrent session, we will share the results of our survey of externship programs including: 1) training tools identified by respondents as being the most effective, 2) incentives used by respondents to increase participation in on-line or in-person training, 3) the most critical training needs identified by respondents, 4) how programs measure the impact of their training efforts, and, 5) the challenges that respondents would like to address through training.  In addition to the survey results, we will share our experiences with externship training as well as materials including supervisor self-assessment tools, handbooks, feedback rubrics and others. Our presentation will be informed by the varied setting, size of program, and experiences of the presenters.  

Hirsch Hall, Room B

Controlling the Bull in the China Shop: Addressing privilege, power and identity in Externship teaching and programming

  • Alexi Freeman, Sturm College of Law, University of Denver
  • Carmia Caesar, Howard University School of Law
  • Monika Batra Kashyap, Seattle University School of Law
  • Sara Jackson, UC Davis School of Law

Externship placements and classrooms are one of the few spaces within a law school where students experience what lawyering looks and feels like in practice. However, frequently unacknowledged is that student experiences, both in school and in the workplace, may vary widely depending on their backgrounds and identities, and that this can result in both harm and alienation for our students. Despite modest progress towards greater diversity in law schools and the legal profession, law schools and legal workplaces are still largely normed around the historic privileging of whiteness, maleness, straightness, and wealth (among other categories). As Externship teachers, we bring our experiences from practice into the classroom, and have a unique opportunity to instill a critical and reflective lens -- encouraging students to be self-aware, conscientious, and measured when they find themselves in positions of power, and conversely to be self-assured, reflective, and untempered when they are feeling insecure.

This panel aims to address ways externship faculty, staff, and administrators, can integrate a more critical and inclusive lens into our externship programs. First, we seek to share strategies for cultivating inclusive classrooms that better support and address the experiences of students from historically marginalized backgrounds. Second, we will highlight how these practices can help to instill a more critical and conscientious lens into ALL of our students, which, ideally, they will carry forward into practice.

Our panelists are all former social justice practitioners and teach in a range of law school settings. We will each share examples of how, given our own identities (professional, personal) and the composition of our classrooms, we strive to unpack and confront systems of power and privilege, address the ways these systems impact the experiences of our students, and equip students with strategies for resilience and resistance both in the classroom and the field. 

Hirsch Hall, Room E

Building the Whole Lawyer: Preparing Students for Entry-Level Success

  • Courtney Brooks, University of New Hampshire School of Law
  • Jeff White, Vermont Law School
  • Nicole Killoran, Vermont Law School
  • Beth Locker, Vermont Law School

What competencies best assure entry level success for new legal professionals?  Survey feedback from more than 24,000 hiring professionals offers solid guidance.  The survey was conducted by Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers, an initiative of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System and published in 2016 as Foundations for Practice: The Whole Lawyer and The Character Quotient (FFP).  The authors found “characteristics (such as integrity and trustworthiness, conscientiousness, and common sense) as well as professional competencies (such as listening attentively, speaking and writing, and arriving on time), were far more important in brand new lawyers than legal skills.” 

So how can externship faculty teach and assess these characteristics and competencies?  The University of New Hampshire School of Law is now in its second year incorporating FFP’s lessons into its externship course.  Through writing assignments, self-evaluations, and workshops students identify and assess the characteristics and professional competencies developed during the semester.  Vermont Law School’s externship courses employ a sequence of group and individualized tutorials, utilizing a variety of traditional assignments grounded in well-established concepts:  reflection, self-evaluation, and self-directed learning.  VLS is a newcomer to the FFP work, and it began experimenting this spring semester with how its courses might be enhanced by introducing students to the survey data.

Join us to hear more about FFP, how two schools are using the data to improve their courses, and share your thoughts on how FFP can support our efforts to develop student character and professional identity.


Hirsch Hall, First Floor

4:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.



4:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.


Hirsch Hall, Room A

Professional Identity Formation: It’s No Accident

  • Cecily Becker, Texas A&M School of Law
  • Phyllis Diane Kotey, Florida International University College of Law
  • Amanda Rivas, St. Mary's University School of Law

Externships are the perfect soil to help students form their professional identity. While the fertile environment in Externships may result in some professional identity development without much planning, intent is the key to long-term, consistent results for all students. Presenters will share their attempts to define and purposefully inject professional identity formation lessons/exercises in their curriculum. There will be a chance to reflect on the lessons learned from each presenters attempt to design curriculum focused on professional identity formation. Participants will explore the concept of professional identity formation and have an opportunity to reflect on their professional identity formation in small working groups. Participants will use the collective power of working groups to spark some innovative lessons that engage students and fit with their specific programs. We anticipate participants will leave the session with concrete ideas, examples, and/or lessons for immediate implementation. 

Hirsch Hall, Room B

Inviting the Unexpected: A Theory of Teaching as Improvisation

  • Russell Gabriel, University of Georgia School of Law
  • Carolyn Wilkes Kaas, Quinnipiac University School of Law
  • Alexander Scherr, University of Georgia School of Law

All teachers deal with the unexpected in the classroom, especially externship and clinic teachers. Lesson plans go awry; students offer unanticipated insight; real experience opens up new territory; discussions wade into deeper waters; conversation veers into conflict.  We can see the unexpected as a barrier to overcome, so that we can get to our planned content. Or we can follow or even encourage the unexpected, so as to include as a focus of the class. 

This concurrent develops a theory of teaching that describes and integrations improvisation into our regular practices as teachers. Drawing on analogies to acting and music, we will explore current theories of teaching as improvisation. We will describe several different ways in which to use improvisational methods as a teacher, from responding to unexpected questions in a carefully structured presentation, to handling hot topics and difficult conversations that emerge unpredictably, to planning for improvisation as a central feature of a classroom session.

We will address how to plan classes that are both rigorous and improvisational. We will also address how to respond in the moment to unexpected events in class. Finally, we will explore how this approach changes the role of the teacher and how it can enhance student ownership of and autonomy in the classroom and in their work experience.

Hirsch Hall, Room C

Social Responsibility and Justice: Fostering the Ethos in All Students

  • Cynthia Wilson, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law
  • June Tai, University of Iowa College of Law
  • Laura Fry, University of Southern California

Externships provide students with unique opportunities to experience and witness issues of justice and fairness in the context of real legal matters that affect real people. The externship classroom provides a place to identify and address these issues deliberately. 

We will share teaching strategies and materials that help foster students’ understanding of and commitment to public service and social justice in a range of externship seminars, including general externship courses and those focused on one particular type of placement. We will also offer specific approaches for working with classes that include students who may be reluctant to embrace a commitment to social justice or may not see a direct connection between their workplace and social justice goals, including those working at law firms or corporate counsel offices.

The session will also include strategies for using current events related to social justice as teaching moments and for identifying material that is current and relevant to today’s students. We will share specific exercises and assignments that are designed to facilitate the exchange of perspectives among students on both furthering justice and career paths. The goal of these classroom strategies is to encourage students to incorporate these values into their professional identity, regardless of their intended career trajectory.

Given that our programs are in different stages of development and organized differently, this information should be helpful to new and experienced faculty and to a range of program models. Our schools are diverse in terms of class size, resources, program design, and the types of placements available. We each draw on different work histories and backgrounds to inform our teaching. This diversity of experience and approach will be reflected in the seminar designs and teaching tools that we will share. 

Hirsch Hall, Room F

One is the Loneliest Number: Opening the Door to Collaboration and Collegiality with Non-Externship Colleagues

  • Daniel Schaffzin, University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
  • Avis Sanders, American University Washington College of Law

Even as experiential coursework continues to move toward the forefront of legal education, many Externship Programs remain isolated from other segments of the law school, including other clinical programs, acting as stand-alone operations without the benefits of cross-departmental or cross-curricular collaboration.  Commonly, forces of history, politics, or lack of access leave those leading and teaching in Externship Programs feeling that they cannot pursue substantive partnerships with non-Externship colleagues or that there is simply little to gain from doing so.  By the same token, non-Externship colleagues often know (or care) little about Externships and, even if they do, rarely go further to consider how Externships might tie into what they are teaching.

Despite these challenges, this presentation will posit that Externship Programs and those who direct and teach them have much to gain by being affirmative in pursuing collaboration with non-Externship colleagues.  These efforts can result in higher visibility for Externship Programs, deeper integration of those directing and teaching them, and a vastly enhanced appreciation for and understanding the rich pedagogy and experiential learning opportunities at play.

Using their own experiences as a launching point, the presenters will explore the many challenges to creating cross-faculty Externship collaborations and discuss strategies for overcoming them.  Through a frank discussion of the obstacles that exist, the presenters hope to share and develop techniques that can help create an environment in which field placements and externship pedagogy are an integral part of the law school and collaboration between Externship faculty and other law school faculty is the norm.


Group Dinners 7:00 p.m. - 


Wellness Event Hirsch Hall, First Floor 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. 

Mindful Sit

Join Charity Scott, our friend and ally from Georgia State University School of Law, who will lead us in a mindful sit on Saturday morning - to sit, get centered and focused for our more than full day of programming and activities.  No prior experience with mindfulness needed: come experience a couple of gently guided meditations with brief discussion of their benefits.

Breakfast Hirsch Hall, First Floor 7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. 

Sponsored by

the Georgia Association of Legal Externships
University of Georgia School of Law
Mercer University School of Law
Emory Law School
Georgia State University College of Law
Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School
Savannah Law School


Plenary Two Hirsch Hall, Room A  8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 

Advocating for Externships

Many see externships both as “programs” that place students in practices outside the school and as “courses” that include real-world experiences and class sessions taught by faculty. Law schools vary in their approach to this ideal. Many models exist for strengthening externships within law schools. In addition, externships have a range of effects on a law school’s achievement of its institutional goals. The diversity of approaches occur at a time when changes to A.B.A. and university regulations are changing the structure of externships and the role they play within law schools.

This plenary will focus on two questions that are both related and distinct. First, how can externship teachers find support and stability within their schools that allows them to deliver valuable externship experiences for students? Second, how can externship teachers articulate the many ways in which externships contribute to the institutional outcomes of a law school? Plenary panelists will think broadly about both questions, seeking both to inspire attendees and to leave them with concrete take-aways that are useful across a broad range of law schools.

  • Susan L. Brooks, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
  • Phyllis Diane Kotey, Florida International University College of Law
  • Amanda Rivas, St. Mary's University School of Law
  • Daniel Schaffzin, University of Memphis Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law
  • Cynthia Wilson, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law


  • Millicent Newhouse, University of Baltimore School of Law
  • Alexander Scherr, University of Georgia School of Law
Break 10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. 
Concurrents 10:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. 

Hirsch Hall, Room J

Putting Mindfulness into Practice: Promoting Well-Being, Reflection, and the Formation of Professional Identity

  • Charity Scott, Georgia State University College of Law

“To be a good lawyer, one has to be a healthy lawyer.  Sadly, our profession is falling short when it comes to well-being.” So begins the ABA’s recent report, The Path to Lawyer Well-Being: Practical Recommendations for Positive Change. The report recommends mindfulness meditation as a practice that can improve resilience and reduce stress, depression, and anxiety, and that can enhance many lawyering competencies, including improved attention and focus, critical cognitive skills, and ethical and rational decision-making. Above all, mindfulness fosters self-awareness and a habit of self-reflection, both of which are integral parts of experiential learning and the development of professional identity.

Increasingly, law schools across the country are incorporating innovative mindfulness-based programming into their curricula, for the skills and values promoted by mindfulness are central to becoming an effective, well-balanced practicing lawyer. Externship programs are particularly well-suited to offering mindfulness-based practices to law students as clinicians help to foster these professional skills and values. In addition to mindfulness and meditation, the ABA report also mentions yoga as among the restorative practices that lawyers and law schools are encouraged to incorporate into their programs to promote personal and professional well-being. 

This session will introduce new and experienced clinicians to mindfulness, its many benefits, and the science that supports it. It will engage participants in several short meditation practices and exercises, and will explore different approaches to incorporating these practices into the externship experience. Finally, this session will emphasize that these practices are not just for students, and that we as educators and role models should adopt them or other restorative practices as part of our own self-care plans by which we can nourish ourselves and promote our own health and well-being.

Hirsch Hall, Room A

Using ‘broad strokes’ to paint more meaningful discussion in the externship classroom: creating unique opportunities for students to engage with issues of professional and personal identity

  • Spring Miller, Vanderbilt Law School
  • Inga N. Laurent, Gonzaga University School of Law
  • Christine E. Cerniglia, Stetson College of Law

The externship classroom presents a unique opportunity for students to identify, examine, and engage with issues of professional and personal identity and responsibility that receive significant lip service but limited meaningful attention in the rest of the law school curriculum. Examples of these issues include: the tension between the organization/funding of the legal profession and the promise of equal justice; the role of attorneys in an increasingly polarized society; and the search for personal meaning and fulfillment in a legal career (I actually had a student say “I know it’s cheesy but I came to law school because I care about justice"…at that moment, I knew we have failed as a law school).  The panel will identify these issues and explore how to use externship classroom exercises to engage students in a meaningful and transformative reflection(s).  The panelists will share specific exercises, as well as personal stories about their own teaching experiences with time to engage the audience for more ideas.  A portion of the time will be dedicated to simulating a classroom experience.

Hirsch Hall, Room B

Teaching the Tough Stuff: The Opportunities and Challenges in Teaching Implicit Bias, Diversity and Inclusion to Supervising Attorneys

  • Kinda Abdus-Saboor, Georgia State University College of Law
  • Gillian Dutton, Seattle University School of Law
  • Rachel Reeves, University of Maine School of Law
  • Marjorie Silver, Touro Law Center

We entrust supervising attorneys with the critical responsibility of providing law students with a meaningful experiential learning experience. Supervising attorneys ultimately control the nature of work students receive, the delivery of feedback, and the work environment that the student inhabits. Thus, it is vital that we equip our supervising attorneys with the basic skills necessary to navigate student supervision effectively. Among those basic skills is the ability to traverse the cross-cultural complexities inherent in working with students whose cultural identities may differ from the supervising attorney. Equally important are the cross-cultural issues that may arise among students and the clients and other persons with whom they interact during their externship.

This session will discuss the significance in providing supervising training that focuses on diversity and implicit bias as it relates to students, supervision and the externship context. As externship faculty and staff, we have an integral role in ensuring that our supervising attorneys create a working environment for our students that is devoid of discrimination and bias. The standard “supervising attorney training” provides the ideal forum to introduce cultural diversity and implicit bias concepts to supervising attorneys. In such a setting, externship faculty and staff can train supervising attorneys in cross-cultural pedagogy, and expose practitioners to best practices regarding cultural complexities that may arise in student supervision.

However, the forum is not without its challenges. Supervising attorney training sessions only allow a limited time to present such an essential, multifaceted issue. Additionally, supervisor training typically consists of a diverse group of attendees, with varying degrees of understanding of diversity and inclusion issues, and who may be uncomfortable delving into seemingly controversial cultural conversations with strangers. The co-presenters will share their experiences in planning and delivering such training, exploring the effectiveness of various methodologies.

Hirsch Hall, Room C

A Fresh Look at Hybrids: Externship or Clinic or Something Else Entirely

  • Paul Bennett, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law
  • Amanda Bynum, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law
  • Willie Jordan-Curtiss, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law
  • Connie Smotherman, University of Oklahoma College of Law

Barry, Dubin, and Joy defined a hybrid:

"In the hybrid in-house/externship program, a law school creates a partnership with a legal provider, such as a civil legal services office or public defender office, and the students enrolled in the clinic are supervised by both a full-time clinician and lawyers from the outside office."

"Building on Best Practices" describes an additional hybrid -- the "practitioner-supervised and practitioner-taught community partnership."  

Then there are “hybrid hybrids” where some projects are kept in-house; others are external.

This session will explore ways to determine which format is best for certain student placements and how to meet the ABA Standards with different placements.  How can we take advantage of exposure to external law office culture while enhancing and maintaining the benefits of in-house faculty and classrooms?  What might work better?  What needs to be tweaked?  What needs to be discarded? 

In particular, we will explore how to:
1. Help students get the most out of a hybrid's binary supervision.
2. Re-create the positive group dynamic of an in-house clinic when supervision is diverse.
3. Improve the law college relationship with outside entities and lawyers -- creating true learning partnerships
4. Better connect the classroom with the field work and the field work with the classroom
5. Manage confidentiality, conflicts and other ethical issues.

Hirsch Hall, Room F

How and Why to Teach Externs: What Makes Lawyers Happy?

  • Larry Krieger, Florida State University School of Law
  • Amy Sankaran, University of Michigan Law School

Anecdotal reports and a persistent body of research suggest that law students and lawyers disproportionately suffer from depression and addictions.  A major new study goes further, showing that younger lawyers are at greatest risk.  Many of us are deeply concerned about our graduates who fail to find joy and satisfaction in their lives and careers. This session will address specific ways to empower students to thrive in law school and beyond, with concrete teaching approaches based on focused scientific research.

There is much good news in this area.  Recent targeted studies look deeply at law students and lawyers, pinpointing precisely why well-being problems occur during and after law school and thus clarifying directions for prevention.  We will briefly summarize these findings, focusing on the five critical factors for the well-being and effectiveness of law students and lawyers, why traditional law training erodes each of them, and why externships provide the ideal pedagogical opportunity to train our students to thrive in law school and going forward. 

Panelists will explain how they engage externs at this subjective level for effective learning, and then provide time for attendees to integrate the information and develop their own ideas for teaching well-being and satisfaction along with the other professional competencies addressed by their programs.

Lunch and Town Hall Rusk Hall, Larry Walker Room  11:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. 

Sponsored by

Greater Los Angeles Area Consortium on Externships
Loyola Law School
UCLA School of Law
Pepperdine University School of Law
USC Gould School of Law
Southwestern Law School University of California - Irvine
Bay Area Coalition of Externships
Golden Gate University School of Law
University of California, Berkeley School of Law
SCU School of Law
University of California, Hastings College of the Law

The Town Hall will include comments by William Adams, the Deputy Managing Director of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar for the American Bar Association. He will address current developments in A.B.A. regulation of law schools, including changes to the Standards with respect to field placement courses. We will make time for him to field questions from conference participants.

Following this the leaders of the AALS Clinical Section and CLEA Externship Committees will update participants on the two committee’s activities and on ways to get involved in national externship initiatives. Amy Sankaran and Sue Schechter will report for the AALS Clinical Section; and Jodi Balsam and Carrie Kaas will report for CLEA.

Concurrents  1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. 

HIrsch Hall, Room A

Externships: Teaching Civility and Professionalism

  • Joanna A Medrano. UNLV Boyd Law School
  • Marcia Levy, Columbia Law School

In a country that has continued to be divided along political lines in a profession that is by its own nature adversarial, we aim to teach our students how to be collegial while remaining zealous advocates for their clients. Civility allows the court process to run more efficiently, lowers costs for clients and generally makes being a lawyer better.

We believe that law schools have an obligation to incorporate civility into their curriculum. It is natural that Externship courses should take the lead in this endeavor. Although in-house experiential and simulation courses provide our students with the opportunity to learn how to "practice," attorney behavior is not the prime focus of these courses. Moreover, while these courses must address attorney behavior to some extent, the air of familiarity and congeniality in the classroom environment belies what it is sometimes like when attorneys interact in real world settings. Externships, however, allow students an opportunity to observe, reflect on and in some cases engage in real world practice. Students get the opportunity to observe exemplary and poor attorney behavior whether in court, negotiations or other interactions. We believe we have a duty to make a concerted effort to be as intentional as possible in facilitating student reflection and understanding of civility and professionalism.

Our presentation will highlight how the externships experience and seminars are an ideal vehicle for addressing “Civility and Professionalism.” We would like to engage the audience by discussing the importance of teaching civility in the Externship course, presenting hypotheticals for the participants to better understand cases of incivility, and proposing/gathering ideas on how to teach civility in an Externship course. We hope to foster a discussion on how we can proactively incorporate teaching civility and professionalism in the externship seminar.

Hirsch Hall, Room B

One Externship Program, Two Faculty Approaches to Teaching the Seminar

  • Hannah Brenner, California Western School of Law
  • Mark Weinstein, California Western School of Law

This session will consider the complexities of administering a large externship program that includes multiple seminars taught by different faculty members. Specifically, it will explore the question of how to best meet program goals while encouraging faculty to retain their voice and authenticity as they design and implement their individual seminars. The presenters will share their varied perspectives on seminar design and teaching methods and illustrate how different approaches in the classroom can still provide students with meaningful opportunities for reflection, and satisfy the objectives of the externship program.

Hirsch Hall, Room F

"Many Roads to Rome? A Dialogue on Promoting Social Justice Using Other Frameworks"

  • Cynthia Adcock, Elon University School of Law
  • Susan L. Brooks, Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law
  • Catherine F. Klein, The Catholic University of America

Many clinical legal educators share a deep commitment to social justice and indeed, view ourselves as social justice advocates. And yet, for a variety of reasons we may teach in parts of the clinical or experiential curriculum where a social justice agenda is not an easy fit. For instance, a number of in-house clinicians and practitioners with a background in public interest work have moved into roles where the main focus is explicitly on teaching skills rather than on social justice or poverty law. Others with similar backgrounds are teaching in broad-based externship or other field placement programs where students are working in a variety of settings, including law firms and in-house counsel positions at private and for-profit institutions.

The main goal of this interactive workshop will be to explore whether and to what extent it may be possible to promote or foster a social justice ethic when teaching in these types of contexts. Specifically, we will address the following questions:

  • Is it possible for clinicians who are teaching in settings not explicitly focused on social justice to foster an ethic of social justice using other approaches, such as, for instance, a focus on leadership or emotional intelligence?
  • What aspects of a curriculum focused on leadership or emotional intelligence and other relational skills could be viewed as supporting an ethic of social justice?
  • Do efforts to promote social justice using other frameworks risk undermining or "watering down" the longstanding commitments to promoting social justice in clinical legal education? If so, is it possible to address and resolve these concerns effectively?

Our modest proposal is that teaching relational competencies, including leadership and emotional intelligence, is necessary-- though probably not sufficient by itself--to supporting our students’ formation of a professional identity that includes a commitment to social justice.

Hirsch Hall, Room J

Rethinking Placements Under Revised Rules & Retrenchment: Successful (and Joyful!) Practicum Partnership Models

  • Kim Diana Connolly, University at Buffalo School of Law
  • Bernadette Gargano, University at Buffalo School of Law

This session addresses the new reality facing so many law schools: more demands for experiential learning and fewer resources to dedicate to such courses. We will explore the new era of changing ABA Standards and how to meet the challenge through “practicum” courses, which work to close the access to justice gap, provide students with rich service learning experiences, and forge community partnerships. We as presenters, a clinical professor and a legal writing professor, will share our experiences in this new space and ask others to share theirs. We will contextualize these ideas by sharing several thriving practicum models, which are embedded field experiences created with community partnerships and designed to include a rigorous academic component with an applied-writing requirement. The session will include active participant engagement and bring discourse and sharing in from the very beginning. We hope for a robust discussion of this new model and the complexity of labeling experiential learning under the AALS Section on Clinical Legal Education Glossary for Experiential Education (https://www.aals.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/AALS-policy-Vocabulary-l...). The Glossary in some ways begins (and begs) a conversation.  We will add to that conversation by exploring how success and joy can emerge from new designs for experiential courses. This concurrent session will also include feedback from community partners who have been working with such models or who have related ideas. This approach will enrich the discussion beyond the primary lens situated within legal education. Participants will leave with shared ideas as well as a handout summarizing related courses following this model. A final version of the handout, reflecting the work of the session, will be available after Externships 9.

Hirsch Hall, Room C

Impacts of Culture and How it Affects Clinical Pedagogies

  • Melissa Deehring, Qatar University College of Law
  • Stephanie Marie Ledesma, Texas Southern University, Thurgood Marshall School of Law

For decades, educators across the world have been advocating for educational reform that would increase the number of practical skills courses included in traditional legal education.

In 2011, Qatar University College of Law established a practical skills class, the Externship Program, designed to teach students real life lawyering skills, encourage graduates to pursue legal careers, and overcome existing administrative, cultural, and social barriers while preserving Qatari identity and customs. Melissa’s presentation will focus on the practical impact and benefit of externships on law schools and local communities in developing countries in the Middle East. It will also explore the possible future of this pedagogy as it becomes more popular in the G.C.C.

Stephanie’s presentation will focus on cultural compassion taught as a critical pedagogy.  “People of different religions and cultures live side by side in almost every part of the world, and most of us have overlapping identities which unite us with very different groups. We can love what we are, without hating what – and who – we are not. We can thrive in our own tradition, even as we learn from others, and come to respect their teachings.” Knowledge of applicable laws and rules, with an ability to analyze and distinguish precedent are important lawyering skills, many of which are taught and perfected during one’s law school experience. However, effective legal advocacy involves more than a mastery of the law and skill, it requires a deep understanding of the client. In our growing multicultural society, while cultural competence is increasingly important for professionals to create effective working relationships with their clients and adequately address their clients’ needs; competence alone is insufficient. This article examines why “practice readiness” requires law school curriculums to introduce and to incorporate “cultural compassion” as a critical pedagogy.

Break 2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 
Concurrents  3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. 

Hirsch Hall, Room A

Center Stage: Focusing the Spotlight on Students Leading “Professional Meetings” as a Tool for Professional Identity Development

  • Tracye Edwards, Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law
  • Reena Parambath, Drexel University, Thomas R. Kline School of Law

At center stage, the spotlight is on students conducting “Professional Meetings”. These are students within the asynchronous, online seminar of Drexel University Kline School of Law’s signature co-op program. “Professional Meetings” present an opportunity for them to take on a primary role performed by lawyers. We use “Professional Meetings” as a teaching tool for professional identity development.

In this concurrent session, we will demonstrate how we use interactive technology by way of the VoiceThread platform to teach online externship seminar students the skill of leading “Professional Meetings”:

  • We conduct online webinars designed as “Professional Meetings”. These webinars cover a range of topics with interactive video, audio, and text comments.
  • For a final group project, we group students that present their own interactive webinars on a topic tied to their practice interest.
  • We set aside a single webinar that focuses on “Professional Meetings” within context of the upcoming mid-semester professional meeting scheduled with each student’s supervisor and professor.
  • We require that supervisors and students participate in a “Professional Meeting” at the mid-semester. 

We invite all attendees of this concurrent session to bring their smart phones or laptops, so that they may engage in the interactive technology during our demonstration. In this way, attendees will learn first-hand what online students experience in preparing to take on the role of a lawyer as a leader in “Professional Meetings”.

Hirsch Hall, Room B

Class Component in the Age of the New ABA Standards

  • Sande Buhai, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
  • Rebecca Delfino, Loyola Law School
  • Diane Uchimaya, University of LaVerne School of Law

In August 2017, the ABA implemented new rules governing field placements.  The new requirements envision that all placements will include some type of faculty-lead instructional component.  In response, a number of law schools are now creating comprehensive classroom components for the first time for both high and low credit field placements. Offering these courses requires an innovative approach to teaching, including online class sessions, separate course offerings for different placement areas and disciplines, and advanced courses for repeat "offenders."  Many of these courses should include topics such as the elimination of bias, workplace diversity, work-life balance, and professionalism.  This presentation will focus on how the change in the ABA rules related to the instructional component affects the externship community and offer various innovative ways to satisfy the new rules.  The presentation will include information about the eight GLACE law schools approach to the instructional component and data from a survey of law schools about various approaches used around the country.

Hirsch Hall, Room C

Thinking outside the toolbox: constructing your externship policies from hard data

  • Adrienne Smith, Boston University School of Law
  • Cecily Banks, Boston University School of Law

In running our externship programs, we exist in a constant state of flux – forever evaluating our offerings, our credit structure, our policies, our placements... From year to year, we make changes – some big, some small – and our programs unceasingly shift and evolve. 

As we determine what changes to make, we rely on many information-gathering tools, from student feedback and listserv crowdsourcing, to employment statistics and enrollment data. But how robust is our toolbox, and is it really equipped to help us answer the more sophisticated questions about our students’ needs and what direction to go in?

Using hypotheticals as a guide, we will tease out and examine the various tools we can use to determine whether to implement specific policies. We will develop best methods for examining both the scope of an issue and the impact of the policy that would seek to address that issue. In particular, we will pay specific attention to whether the policies further the goals of equal opportunity and inclusion. Session participants will walk away with fresh ideas on how to best explore the questions most pressing to their individual programs.

Combined Sessions - Hirsch Hall, Room F

Externship Programs Away from Government Centers and Big Cities: How to Meet Student Demand?

  • Inge Van der Cruysse, Indiana University Maurer School of Law

Externship programs rely on the support of organizations outside the law school to train and mentor students. In small cities, there are fewer government agencies and non-profits that are familiar with externship programs and their goals, and building an externship program can present unique challenges.

We propose a session for those running externship programs in schools located in small cities or rural areas. Issues we anticipate covering include:

  • Developing a diverse array of placements.
  • Managing part-time local placements.
  • Developing a full-time remote placement.
  • Working with field supervisors.
  • Leveraging your alumni base.

This topic will appeal to attendees from schools that are not in large cities or that are part of a consortium. We believe many schools may fit in this category. In addition this will appeal primarily to program directors, but we anticipate that this discussion and the potential topics would be suitable for those new to externship teaching as well as experienced externship faculty.

Combined Sessions - Hirsch Hall, Room F

Where is the Next Atticus Finch? - The Social Value of Rural Externships

  • Shawn Leisinger, Washburn University School of Law

Washburn University School of Law has made a concerted effort in recent years to address the lack of attorneys serving populations in rural parts of our state. These communities are seeing their local attorneys age out of practice and as a result access is being limited to justice and the legal system.

This session will touch on participants’ thoughts on Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird. High ideals of social justice quickly unravel in rural areas where only a limited number of lawyers practice, let alone specialize in any particular area of law. This will lead into a look at the myriad and multiple roles rural lawyers serve in their community beyond their practice scope, including serving on boards, advising governments and commercial entities, and sometimes serving as prosecutor in one county and defense counsel in another.

I will present information on my personal and professional engagement and discussions with the rural attorneys that took on Washburn Law externs across twenty-six counties in northwest Kansas in Summer 2017. We will discuss the challenges and opportunities presented by rural practice externships in these areas, as well as examine the potential employment and career options for attorneys in these areas.

Returning to the Atticus Finch image we will talk a little about the New Model Rule 8.4(g) and how those non-discrimination professional rules may play out in rural America if adopted by the relevant states. The reality of conflicts of interest and access to legal representation based on ethnicity, economics and social connections will be touched on as well. Ultimately a central theme will be how we as legal educators in externship programs can reach out to bring these rural practitioners and students together to serve the social need in rural America for legal services and advocacy.

Hirsch Hall, Room J

Clinical Pedagogy of Externship to Effectively Achieve Educational Goals and Political Reforms

  • Noora AlShamlan, University of Bahrain

The legal clinical in the Kingdom of Bahrain was inception, not only for the purpose of education but also to achieve political reforms. The first legal clinic was created, based on the recommendations of Professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni.  It was taken as a mean to educate both people with legal education background and laypersons the practical sense of human rights, its applications, and spread the knowledge of human rights. As well as a mean to heal the rift at the social level in the Kingdom of Bahrain that occurred as a result of the events witnessed by the Kingdom in February and March 2011. Thereby, the experience of the legal clinic in the Kingdom of Bahrain has changed from the typical approach of it being just a mean of legal education to include the process of amending on the political and social level.

This paper will show how to employ clinical education to include it serving other than the pure educational dissemination to how it is used in developing various fields depending on each country situation. Moreover, this paper particularly will discuss how to use legal clinics for the development of legal education in law colleges in the Gulf region. Mainly, changing from the traditional style of teaching rooted in these colleges to interactive learning techniques that will transform the law student from the stage of inertia and memorization to the stage of practical application.

In conclusion, this paper will address the most critical difficulties and challenges facing legal education and legal clinics in the Gulf region in general and in the Kingdom of Bahrain in particular and suggest how to address these challenges.

Break 4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
Concurrents  4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m. 

Hirsch Hall, Room A

The Externship Director Role: One Size Does Not Fit All

  • Beth G. Schwartz, Fordham Law School
  • Kennisha A. Austin, Georgetown Law

Among those who are responsible for externship programs, there is great variety in terms of title, status, responsibilities, and level of integration in the life of the law school.  Beth is a Clinical Professor of Law and the Director of Professional Skills at Fordham and oversees three programs – Externships, Fundamental Lawyering Skills, and Pro Bono Scholars.  Until this year, Kennisha was Georgetown Law’s Director of the J.D. Externship Program and now oversees the Law Center’s J.D. Externship, Practicum, and Simulation Programs, as the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education.  Beth has led Fordham’s Externship Program for almost ten years, while Kennisha has led Georgetown’s for a year and a half.  We expect attendees will include those who occupy other types of positions, including within career development offices and/or pro bono or public interest programs.

While we recognize that the role of an externship director must be shaped by the particular needs of a school, we would like to address, together with those attending this session, whether there are key characteristics and responsibilities that all should have, i.e., whether there are certain aspects of the role that transcend the differences among schools.  We will also discuss whether the recent, significant revisions in the ABA Standards governing field placements have prompted changes in the externship director role.  In addition, we plan to discuss:  the challenges and opportunities of our respective roles; the extent to which we were able to shape our roles; the externship program's place within our school's program of experiential education; our relationships with other faculty and administrators; and the different ways we manage the demands on our time.

Hirsch Hall, Room B

Email, Social Media, and Professionalism for Externs

  • Bernadette Feeley, Suffolk University Law School
  • Jennifer Murphy Romig, Emory University School of Law
  • Colleen T. Scarola, University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Email and social media has changed the way we communicate and connect on a personal level, and it’s increasingly relevant in the communications between lawyers, their clients, and the courts.  The presentation will first focus students on tone, effectiveness, and professionalism in email communication with their field supervisors.  We will lead attendees through a sample in-class exercise to do with their class.  In addition, we will discuss how the exercise can prompt discussion of other topics, such as externs seeking appropriate guidance on projects, effective legal writing, and self-editing. The presentation will then transition into discussing the practical social media skills students should develop, why such skills are critical to success in the legal profession, and developing social media seminars/courses.  In a social media legal externship seminar, students learn how to effectively utilize social media, navigate the murky ethical issues arising from lawyers' use of social media, and counsel clients on social media (among other things).  In an advanced legal writing course in blogging and social media law students learn how to effectively utilize social media and blogging and the art of informal legal writing.  Law students are being asked by their employers to use social media, whether it’s updating a law firm blog, drafting a case summary for the employer’s website, or using social media for investigation during a case.  The presenters believe in teaching law students fundamental, practical skills to ensure their success at and beyond their placements and have therefore designed their courses to educate students on email etiquette and social media as well as help them develop valuable skills to be successful and marketable. 

Hirsch Hall, Room F

Seize the Data! Using Evidence from Externship Courses to Measure Law School Learning Outcomes

  • Christine Zellar Church, Western Michigan University, Cooley Law School
  • Robert L. Jones, Jr., Notre Dame Law School
  • Kendall L. Kerew, Georgia State University College of Law
  • Kelly S. Terry, University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law

With the adoption of ABA Standards 302 and 315, law schools are now required to establish institutional learning outcomes for their graduates and measure whether their graduates are achieving competency in those outcomes. Given this mandate, all law schools will need to determine the best method to measure whether they are meeting these articulated outcomes. This session will focus on the role that clinical education and externships, specifically, can have in the assessment of institutional learning outcomes. The goal of the session is to provide attendees with guidance on the role that student performance data from externship courses can play in the institutional assessment process.

The session will begin with an introductory discussion about the institutional assessment process and address specifically how externships are relevant to institutional assessment. We will then discuss how externship courses can provide either direct or indirect evidence as to whether students are meeting a particular institutional learning outcome. Following this introduction, we will share concrete tools we are using for assessing student learning at the course level that can be used as evidence for measuring student learning outcomes at the institutional level.  Copies of all surveys, forms, rubrics etc. will be distributed to attendees.

The session will end with an interactive exercise in which attendees will identify student performance data generated in their externship courses that is relevant to their school’s institutional learning outcomes. To get the most out of this exercise, attendees should come to the session with a copy of their school’s institutional learning outcomes.

Hirsch Hall, Room C

“You’ve Got a Friend in Me” – The Synergy of How Your School's Administration Can Help Get the Best Externship Experiences

  • Mary Nagel, The John Marshall Law School (Chicago)

Too often in a law school, there are “silos” having their departments “doing their own thing.” The presentation focuses on the untapped connections between these silos and Externships. Through this route, we have been able to expose our students to the best externship opportunities, concentrating on judicial externships. Working throughout the school departments, we can get the best externship experiences for our students (and satisfy yet another required component of the ABA’s rules on experiential learning in the process).

Hirsch Hall, Room J

Out of Order: Sexual Harassment, Field Placements, and our Roles and Responsibilities

  • Lisa Mead, University of California-Los Angeles School of Law
  • Meg Reuter, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
  • Sue Schechter, University of California-Berkeley School of Law

Recent events have made clear that sexually inappropriate conduct is more commonplace than many wish to believe. Our externship students are subject to such behaviors. How do we advise our students as they apply to placements? How do we learn about such workplace misconduct? What steps do we take when an incident occurs?  What Title IX and legal liability issues should we understand? Are there best practices? This session will start with a quick debrief of the recent reports of sexual harassment by a Ninth Circuit Judge, and how law schools jumped into action to respond on behalf of students already committed to placements in the judge’s chambers.  Although the incident may be more dramatic than we typically encounter, it is a good launch point for a healthy exploration of our role and responsibilities when our students face sexually inappropriate and abusive conduct. We will work through a set of scenarios regarding how externship directors learn about, teach about, and handle such incidents in placements generally and the special concerns regarding placements in judicial chambers.

Reception Hirsch Hall, First Floor  6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 

Sponsored by

Emory Law School


Wellness Events  7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. 


Join us for a morning walk/run -distance and speed to be set by the walkers and runners, we will come with ideas for the routes.  Meet in the lobby of the Holiday Inn Athens-University Area, 197 Broad Street.

Breakfast Hirsch Hall, First Floor  7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. 

Sponsored by

The Northwest Area Coalition of Externships

Concurrents  8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. 

Hirsch Hall, Room A

Click Here: Externship Data Management Tools to Increase Productivity (and Promote Sanity)

  • Jodi S. Balsam, Brooklyn Law School
  • Lauren N. Donald, The University of Tulsa College of Law
  • Carolyn Young Larmore, Chapman University Dale E. Fowler School of Law
  • Sarah Shalf, Emory University School of Law

The most significant challenge externship programs face is “insufficient administrative support,” followed closely by “other demands on the faculty’s time,” according to the CSALE survey.  And the pressure is only getting worse.  The increased record keeping requirements of Standard 304(c), increased student participation due to the ABA’s 6-credit experiential learning requirement and new paid externship positions, plus the ever-present pressure of tight budgets, together are driving the need to find innovative approaches to these mounting administrative burdens.

For many of us, the answer to these challenges is finding online data management tools that can manage vast amounts of data efficiently and economically. These tools include high-end suites like CORE ELMS, the familiar Symplicity experiential learning module, and the basic and free Dropbox and Google Suite. This presentation will demonstrate how online tools can help manage externship programs of any size and with any budget, lessening the administrative burden on directors, faculty and staff.  In addition, we will discuss ways in which some of the tools have broader applications, including facilitating assessment of programmatic and institutional learning outcomes and sharing data across institutions.

In this presentation, four externship directors who use each of these platforms will discuss how their chosen system fits their needs, highlighting its benefits and drawbacks (such as cost, user-friendliness, scope of services, etc.). Each presenter will conduct a live demonstration of their platform’s key features so that the audience can see it in action.

Hirsch Hall, Room C

Improv & Internships: Using Improvisation Techniques to Teach Vital Lawyering Skills

  • Leah Young, Penn State Dickinson Law
  • Alison Lintal, Penn State Dickinson Law

How students choose to collaborate and communicate can have a significant impact on the outcome of a workplace project as well as their legal career. Additionally, the importance of face-to-face communication, body posture, and learning to interpret body language cues is crucial for building professional relationships. Through these interactive exercises, students get the opportunity to practice responses in a setting that fosters student development and growth. Furthermore, improvisation provides the legal profession with tools that can be used to enhance communication, active listening, collaboration, agility, trust, authenticity, and resilience.

An important emphasis in externship courses is a focus on cultivation of the habit of self-reflection. Equally important is the need for externship teachers to provide a safe space for students to practice immediate reactivity to challenges that they will face in a law practice setting. Improvisation exercises provide a tool for responding to workplace challenges by teaching techniques that will enhance communication skills while at the same time bolstering law student wellbeing.

Hirsch Hall, Room B

Taking Assessment Out of the Classroom:  Assessing the Skills and Values We Really Care About

  • Shakrokh (Seve) Falati, Albany Law School
  • Mary Lynch, Albany Law School
  • Nancy Maurer, Albany Law School

ABA Standards requiring law schools to identify and assess learning objectives for all students present opportunities to advance and further integrate our clinic and externship programs. This workshop will focus on assessment of law school learning objectives in a variety of experiential courses--field placements, hybrid clinics, and other experiential courses. We start with the premise that just about any law school learning objective from substantive learning, to skills, to character and values development, can be achieved for most law students though well-designed experiential courses.  There are some goals, however, that are best or more easily and demonstrably accomplished in clinic/field placement or other experiential courses.  In particular, clinics may be the best places to address goals involving multicultural competence or commitment to access to justice.  Such outcomes at one time may have been considered aspirational “add ons,” but now are more likely to be recognized as essential for today’s and tomorrow’s lawyering jobs.

Using a variety of opportunities available at Albany Law School and tapping into expertise from participants, we will:
1) examine how field placement/hybrid/clinic/practicum and other experiential courses are or can be uniquely situated to address a variety of law school learning outcomes;
2) share rubrics and strategies for assessing learning outcomes; and
3) discuss how an assessment process and the results of assessments may be used to both improve student learning and support our programs within our institutions and the academy.

Hirsch Hall, Room F

Creative Collaborations with Career Services Offices

  • Denise Roy, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • Leanne Fuith, Mitchell Hamline School of Law
  • Adam Brown, University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minneapolis)

This panel explores the relationship between externships and career services and asks whether the benefits of creative collaboration between externship and career services programs are outweighed by potential negatives. For example, Externship Directors often shy away from being too closely identified with the career services offices at their schools out of the perceived danger that it will send a message that externships are “nothing more than” job placement opportunities. At a time when resources are thin, there is also a concern that schools will cut costs by absorbing what should be an academic position into an office with a traditionally student services function. On the other hand, as the job market has changed for law graduates, career services offices find themselves needing to do much more than traditional job placement and career counseling. Career services are being re-conceptualized to include a more explicitly teaching function of building the skills that will help them get jobs: networking, creativity, resilience, and professional development. These skills can usefully be reinforced across the curriculum through closer collaboration between externship programs and career services offices. In addition, the possibility of granting externship credit for paid field work may blur the line between the academic and career advising functions, making it desirable to explore collaboration, or at least coordination, between externship and career services programs.

Hirsch Hall, Room J

Changing of the Guard: Law School Millennials & Law Graduate Professionals

  • Dena Bauman, University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law
  • Jessica Heywood, University of Georgia School of Law
  • Teresa Schmiedeler, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law

The millennials-now in their 20s and 30s have come of age. They include virtually all of our law students, many faculty members, and legal practitioners and clients. Still, many “baby boomers” and “Gen X” attorneys remain a vital part of the workforce.  Researchers claim that each “cohort” has its own values, behaviors, and workplace behaviors, such that the legal workplace may sometimes seem like the Tower of Babel.  Understanding and managing generational change is critical for legal educators and practitioners and the focus of this session. In the first part of our session, we will review the research concerning “boomers,” “Gen X,”and “millennials,” and their particular work place traits. We will chart how differences and similarities affect learning styles and work place behaviors. Our session will break into small groups, each focused on core externship challenges. Those include strategic planning by students, communication and performance at the field placement, and reflective skills.  Each group will discuss different exercises and techniques that can bridge the generational divide. We will then meet back as a group to put this all together, so that participants will leave with a model “best practices” syllabus and teaching methods for teaching millennial students and working with millennial attorneys.


Break 9:45 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. 
Plenary Three Hirsch Hall, Room A  10:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. 

The Justice Mission of Externships: Preparing our Students to Advocate for Justice

Recent events have highlighted the important role of lawyers in advocating for justice and the rule of law.  Our students face a world that needs lawyers to be prepared to fight for justice, but even the most committed students can become discouraged at the challenges they face. To assume their crucial public responsibilities, students need not only commitment to the cause of justice, but also courage to do what is right, and resilience in the face of adversity.

Perhaps more than anywhere else in the law school curriculum, externships play a vital role in preparing students to assume their public roles. The closing plenary will discuss the role of externship teaching in fostering the public dimension of the lawyer’s role, and the panelists will provide stories of lawyers and law students who make a crucial difference in the lives of their clients and their communities. Topics will include include how to assist students to integrate their personal values with their emerging professional roles and helping our students develop the passion, courage, authenticity, and resilience to become advocates for justice.

  • Douglas Ammar, Executive Director, The Georgia Justice Project
  • Alexi Freeman, University of Denver Sturm College of Law
  • Daisy Hurst Floyd, Mercer University School of Law


  • Timothy Floyd, Mercer University School of Law
  • Sue Schechter, University of California, Berkeley Law

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