Experience the Future of Legal Education
AbstractThis article examines the shift towards experiential legal education and its implications. While others have focused on experiential education as a means of training better lawyers, the author advances the argument for experiential education because it is rooted in substantive problem-solving, access to justice, engagement with communities, and greater opportunities for reflective and critical thinking about law and justice. Drawing on examples from Osgoode Hall Law School, which adopted an experiential curricular requirement in 2012, the article explores the ways in which experiential education may change law school and law students. The article also canvasses the implications of the experiential shift for the future of legal education, and the blurring lines between law school and transitional professional education in law such as articling and Practical/Professional Legal Training Courses (PLTCs). Finally, a number of perspectives and research initiatives are presented to suggest that the benefits of an effectively designed experiential model are far reaching, from a learning environment that caters most effectively to the way in which students learn and access information, to increasing engagement with community needs, to the positive impacts on student wellness. Therefore, the article illustrates the significance of the experiential shift in legal education in the Canadian context as a critical driver in the evolution of the law school and professional legal education.
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