Externship Pedagogy and Practice

by Gillian Dutton, Kendall Kerew, Kelly Terry, Cynthia Wilson

Forthcoming December 2022

Tags: Clinical/Externships, Law School Teaching

ISBN 978-1-5310-1181-9
eISBN 978-1-5310-1182-6

Externship Pedagogy and Practice is an in-depth exploration of how to design, structure, evaluate, and teach law school externship courses. The book will be an essential resource for experienced and new externship faculty, law school administrators, and externship site supervisors.

One of the ways law schools have responded to the demand for more experiential education is by expanding externship courses and faculty. In recent years, dramatic changes in the use of technology in law practice and recognition of the impact of bias on the justice system have influenced legal education, including externship courses. Law schools are also considering how to better integrate their externship programs into their law school curriculum. While there are a number of excellent books on how to design and teach in-house clinical courses, to date there is no comprehensive book on best practices for designing and teaching externship courses. This book fills that gap.

The book starts by describing the essential characteristics of all externship courses and explaining the ABA Standards and other regulations governing externships. The next section focuses on program design, including types and locations of placements, credit hours, selecting and evaluating supervisors, establishing and assessing program learning outcomes, and designing individual courses. The third section focuses on teaching the externship course, with chapters on faculty-guided reflection, class topics for general and subject-specific courses, teaching techniques, and using online technology.

Each of these chapters includes multiple examples of in-class and out-of-class assignments, discussion and reflection topics, and other tools for successful teaching. The final section is specifically geared towards externship site supervisors and describes best practices for supervision, feedback, and ethical duties. The book provides comprehensive guidance to ensure that both long-standing and relatively new externship programs and courses provide excellent learning experiences for students that are a high-quality component of a school's experiential curriculum.