Hosted by New York Law School
New York, NY
June 10-12, 2016
The 2016 Third National Symposium on Experiential Learning in Law took a careful look at how to identify and effectively assess experiential learning outcomes in the legal education context. The symposium offered highly interactive sessions that will provide learning designed to improve the quality of assessment in law schools’ experiential programs.
Assessment is the pedagogical topic of our time. As law schools move toward greater adoption of multiple forms of assessment, it is incumbent on legal educators to share information on existing methods of assessment—what has worked well and less well, and why—as well as to tap into the expertise of those from other disciplines who have adopted assessment techniques for experiential learning that might be applicable to law schools. With these goals in mind, we held several plenary sessions that will offer broad perspectives, from within and from outside law, on the challenges and the methods of assessing experiential learning.
We also held multiple small-group sessions at which individual assessment methodologies were presented and closely assessed by workshop participants. These sessions were the result of a call for proposals issued in 2015 which generated multiple submissions by teachers engaged in assessing experiential learning, and these submissions in turn are now part of an iterative process of feedback and revision in advance of the conference.
This conference was sponsored by New York Law School and The Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law and co-sponsored by Northeastern University School of Law, American University, Washington College of Law, Elon University School of Law, the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law, and Vermont Law School. Additional generous support came from West Academic Publishing and from Carolina Academic Press.
New York Law School has a longstanding commitment to experiential education. Its Office of Clinical and Experiential Learning coordinates a program of 19 clinics in a wide range of subject-matter and skills fields, together with externships and workshops, simulation courses, project-based learning courses, upper level writing courses, and skills competition teams. The School’s Clinical Theory Workshop series, now completing its 30th year, offers clinicians and other skills teachers a forum for scholarship and reflection on lawyering skills and pedagogy.
The Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law (“the Alliance”) was formed in 2011 under the auspices of Northeastern University School of Law. It now includes members from more than 113 law schools and legal services organizations. “The Alliance’s ultimate goal is to ensure that law graduates are ready to practice with a full complement of skills and ethical and social values necessary to serve clients and the public interest, now and in the future.”