Legal education today is composed of two separate worlds. The first world includes clinical faculty, law skills faculty, and other related faculty. These faculty members have long embraced experiential education, and they organize and attend conferences like the "Experience the Future" symposium, hosted by Northeastern University School of Law and the Alliance for Experiential Learning in Law. The other world includes people like me- doctrinal faculty members who are still largely teaching the way we always have. As we see it, our role is to teach doctrine and legal analysis, leaving skills training and other experiential teaching to others. Experiential education is simply not a part of our professional conversation.
It is only a slight exaggeration to say that these two worlds never meet. They speak in the hallways and they sit in the same faculty meetings, but they rarely meet as educators to discuss their collective ideas on how to teach their students. As a result, while different models of experiential education have been debated, studied, and critiqued by one group of legal educators, it is largely ignored by the other.
This Essay argues that the push for experiential education in law schools is really a push for better teaching. Part I explains the relationship between experiential education and student learning. Part II explores different ways to use experiential education in traditional doctrinal courses. Part III examines ways to foster a culture of experiential education among doctrinal faculty.
Jessica Erickson, Experiential Education in the Lecture Hall, 6 Northeastern L. Rev. 87 (2013).