Concurrent Workshop Session III
Emerging Professionals and Capstone Courses
Federal Litigation Capstones
Facilitator: Deborah Kearns, Associate Clinical Professor; Director, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, Albany Law School
Sarah Ricks, Rutgers School of Law
Judge William Smith, U.S. District Court for Dist. of Rhode Island
Jane Rindsberg, Roger Williams School of Law
Christian Sundquist, Albany Law School
Sarah Rogerson, Albany Law School
Evelyn Tenenbaum, Albany Law School
In this panel, three different kinds of course design will be explored, compared and contrasted. The first is an upper level Immigration Law course taught by Professor Christian Sundquist in collaboration with Clinical Professor Sarah Rogerson at Albany Law School. This course integrates problems and legislative and adjudicatory simulations in order to engage students and prepare them for practice. The collaboration of doctrinal and clinical professors provides the students with a blended experience of doctrine, theory and practice and a unique perspective on Immigration Law.
The second course design involves using a litigation based textbook written by Lawyering Professor Evelyn Tenenbaum (Albany Law) and Clinical Professor & Co-Director of the Pro Bono Research Project at Rutgers School of Law-Camden, Sarah Ricks, to enhance the study of constitutional litigation. This practiced based textbook can be used to achieve a variety of objectives in a constitutional litigation course. The panelists will discuss the design and implementation of the book and provide examples of the various teaching methodologies in the text.
The third course is a capstone year long litigation simulation course co-taught by U.S. District Judge William E. Smith (Rhode Island), Professor of Legal Writing Jane Rindsberg (Roger Williams University School of Law) and members of the local Rhode Island Bar. The panelists will discuss the course design, objectives and implementation and highlight the student experience in this innovative and collaborative capstone course.
Professional Identity and Social Justice
Facilitator: Patricia Salkin, Raymond and Ella Smith Distinguished Professor of Law; Associate Dean; Director, Government Law Center
Susan Waysdorf, University of the District of Columbia
Susan Brooks, Associate Dean for Experiential Learning, Drexel University School of Law
Kim Diana Connolly, State University of New York at Buffalo Law School
Lauren Breen, State University of New York at Buffalo Law School
The challenge of preparing law students to become caring and competent professionals can be met by using a sequence of experiential learning opportunities to teach relational competencies. Susan Brooks, the Associate Dean for Experiential Learning at Drexel’s law school, will present a framework that articulates how different experiential learning opportunities can contribute to students’ professional development. As law teachers, we can use this knowledge to help students enhance their intra- and inter-personal skills, which are essential to their effectiveness as well as their happiness and well-being as emerging professionals.
Case management software, used by most law firms, is now becoming common in law school experiential learning settings to manage cases and matters as well as teach some basics about law practice management. Two experienced clinical professors who study effective andragogy will discuss ways to explicitly link clinic learning objectives and assessment to use of case management software in clinic, externship and other experiential settings.
Service-learning has a rich legacy and history in the U.S. as a pedagogical approach and educational philosophy, but is a newer development in most law school curricula. Professor Susan Waysdorf, who has developed a service-learning model at the UDC School of Law, will discuss how this approach, which is both similar and different from clinical education, can provide a transformative capstone experience for law students. She will share the challenges she and her colleagues have faced in creating this new curricular model and will explore how to fuse clinical teaching, service-learning and social justice goals into new and exisiting doctrinal topics across the curriculum. The goal is to identify, along with the other panelists and session participants, the value of integrating experiential service-learning into a a capstone law school course that engages students in advancing social justice, while solidifying their professional objectives, lawyering skills and learning outcomes.
Creating a Road Map for Self-Learning and Assessment: Putting Students in the Driver’s Seat
Facilitator: Nancy Maurer, Clinical Professor of Law, Director of Field Placement Clinic, Albany Law School
Marjorie Silver, Touro Law Center
Gary Munneke, Pace Law School
Rachel Littman, Assistant Dean for Career and Professional Development, Pace Law School
This interactive session explores models for engaging students in the development and assessment of their own learning goals throughout their legal education. Panelists consider the development of learning objectives and rubrics on a micro level in individual courses as well as on a macro level from day one of law school through graduation and beyond.
Marjorie Silver will first introduce the process of developing and using learning plans in externships as a concrete example of building learning objectives and strategies in law school courses and engaging students in the process of designing their own goals. Next, Rachel Littman and Gary Munneke will take the process school-wide and address the need to lay out for students what the learning and outcomes expectations are for their entire legal education. They will describe their process for identifying gaps in the skills and values of preparation in the curriculum and designing overall learning outcomes/rubrics for all of law school starting from day one and incorporating not only courses and for-credit experiences, but activities outside of law school.
Using the rubrics presented, participants will then work in groups to identify specific competencies and possible measures for selected goals. Finally we will collect and share the information developed by participants as well as other models for engaging students in self-learning used at other schools.