The Changing Roles and Expectations of Externship Clinics in a

Report
The Changing Roles and
Expectations of Externship Clinics
in a Diverse Legal Environment
By
Amany Ragab Hacking,
Assistant Clinical Professor
Supervisor, Saint Louis University School of Law Externship Clinic
I.
Introduction
II.
History of Clinical Education and
Externships
Early to mid-1900’s:
• Legal clinics began cropping up in response to a demand for more practical
skills training after the rise of the case method, and to serve a social
justice mission in the community.
• Some of the first clinics were at schools such as Cincinnati, University of
Denver, George Washington, Harvard, Minnesota, Northwestern,
University of Pennsylvania, University of Tennessee, and Yale.
1917:
• William Rowe, John Bradway and Jerome Frank were a few pioneers of
clinical legal education, though only succeeded in starting a handful of
programs around the U.S.
• Rowe promoted a hybrid clinic that closely resembled modern-day
externships consisting of classroom work and off-site field placements in
legal aid agencies.
Cites: New York State Judicial Institute (5 May 2005). "Introduction to Clinical Legal Education;” 14 Clinical L. Rev. 37 (2007-2008),
Examining the Use of For-Profit Placements in Law School Externship Programs; Feeley, Bernadette T.
II.
History of Clinical Education and
Externships
1951:
• only 28 schools reported having clinical programs:
• 5 schools mandated clinical experience;
• 9 schools provided opportunities for court appearances;
• 10 schools did not award academic credit for students’ work.
1960’s:
• Brought the second wave of clinical education;
• The first field-placement programs also emerged;
• The term “externship” gained regular use around 1969 to refer to these field placement
clinics.
1973:
• The ABA established the first accreditation standards on field experiences -- ABA Standard
305: Study outside the classroom
Cite: New York State Judicial Institute (5 May 2005). "Introduction to Clinical Legal Education;” 14 Clinical L. Rev. 37 (2007-2008),
Examining the Use of For-Profit Placements in Law School Externship Programs; Feeley, Bernadette T., 56 J. Legal Educ. 615 (2006),
Where Do Externships Fit - A New Paradigm Is Needed: Marshaling Law School Resources to Provide an Externship for Every
Student; Backman, James H.,
II.
History of Clinical Education and
Externships
The 1980’s brought a more critical look at externships.
Cite: 12 Nova. L. Rev.
96 (1987-1988), Legal Externships: Can They Be Valuable
Clinical Experiences for Law
Advantages:
Disadvantages::
Students; Rose, Henry, p. 102.
• Lower cost than in-house clinics;
• Higher student-to-faculty ratio;
• Students are placed in legal settings
where they will practice after
graduation;
• Highly specialized training available;
• Exposure to real world time pressures,
working relationships, and ethical
concerns.
• Conflict of goals between on-site
supervisors and students;
• Students having less client contact
opportunities;
• Supervisors may not be effective
teachers;
• Law schools may lack leverage with
supervisors.
Cite: 12 Nova. L. Rev. 96 (1987-1988), Legal Externships: Can They Be Valuable Clinical Experiences for Law Students;
Rose, Henry, p. 102.
II.
History of Clinical Education and
Externships
1986:
• ABA initiates more specific requirements for educational objectives
in an externship program – ABA 306(2).
• The updated standard demonstrated the ABA’s support of
externships and its willingness to help create sound programs.
1990’s:
• Externships became a standard learning experience in law schools,
providing more career-building opportunities for networking,
resume-building, and contact with alumni and other successful
attorneys.
Cite: 14 Clinical L. Rev. 37 (2007-2008), Examining the Use of For-Profit Placements in Law School Externship Programs; Feeley,
Bernadette T.
History of Clinical Education and
Externships
2005:
• In the 2008 ABA/LSAC Official Guide to Law Schools, law
schools reported more than 19,000 field placements for
the 2005-06 academic year.
• ABA amends Standard 305:
– 305(f)(4) previously required a “classroom or tutorial
component” for the field placement if the placement program
awarded more than six credits.
– New 305(e)(7) requires the classroom component be through a
seminar, tutorials, or “other means of guided reflection.”
Cite: 14 Clinical L. Rev. 4 (2007-2008) “Practical Examples for Establishing an Externship Program Available to Every
Student,” Backman, James H.; 14 Clinical L. Rev. 63 (2007-2008), “ABA Standard 305's Guided Reflections: A Perfect
Fit for Grounded Fieldwork,” Gharakhanian, Anahid.
II.
History of Clinical Education and
Externships
• The inclusion of “other means of guided
reflection” in 305 allowed for more flexibility
in the classroom component of externships.
• Schools began looking into options beyond
the actual, physical classroom, and such as
TWEN and Blackboard to take the place of
part or all of the classroom component.
• This led to new uses of technology for
externship classroom components.
III. Innovations in Externship Clinics
A. Online Courses for Externships:
Asynchronous courses:
Synchronous courses:
• Make use of TWEN and Blackboard
• Make use video-conferencing
• Students meet regularly or a few
software such as WebCT, “live
times a semester, but mostly log on to
classroom,” or chat rooms.
complete classes and assignments
• Connect students in different
online on their own schedules,
geographic locations for a
though deadlines are usually set.
contemporaneous lecture or
• Make use of PowerPoint
discussion.
presentations ,discussion boards,
• Allows students to work in locations
listserv e-mails, recorded lectures,
out of driving distance to the law
and discussion boards.
school.
Cites: 14 Clinical L. Rev. 4 (2007-2008) Practical Examples for Establishing an Externship Program Available to Every Student; Backman, James
H.; 2009 Transactions: Tenn. J. Bus. L. 389 (2009) More Pedagogic Techniques: Online Exercises & (and) Integrating Skills into Different Kinds
of Courses; Cooney, Leslie Larkin.; 6 VA. J.L. & Tech. 5 (2001), The Use of Video-Conferencing Technology in Legal Education: A Practical
Guide; Arcabascio, Catherine.
III. Innovations in Externship Clinics
A. Online Courses for Externships:
Examples of programs utilizing online courses:
• Saint Louis University School of Law hybrid model
• Southwestern School of Law: Communicating only via Westlaw's TWEN site, a
faculty mentor posts different "guided reflection" topics for different weeks.
Students post their responses for the faculty member and fellow students in their
group. Students are asked to read and comment on the responses, which creates
an online dialogue.
• Vermont School of Law: Students attend an on-campus orientation prior to the
semester, and the rest of the academic course is conducted electronically.
• Shepard Broad Law Center at Nova Southeastern University: During twelve-week
placements, students meet bi-weekly with their instructor and classmates during a
video-conferenced class.
Cites: Gharakhanian, Anahid, ABA Standard 305'S Guided Reflections: A Perfect Fit for Guided Fieldwork. Clinical Law Review, Fall 2007; NYLS
Clinical Research Institute Paper No. 07/08-1. ;
http://www.vermontlaw.edu/Academics/Clinics_and_Experiential_Programs/Judicial_Externships.htm; 6 VA. J.L. & Tech. 5 (2001), The Use of
Video-Conferencing Technology in Legal Education: A Practical Guide; Arcabascio, Catherine.
III. Innovations in Externship Clinics
A. Online Courses for Externships:
Advantages of online courses:
Disadvantages of online courses:
•
• It may take professors and students
longer to become familiar with new
media and software.
• Students may feel as if they can put
less effort into assignments because
they do not meet as often in person.
• Online classes may require more
advanced preparation for the professor
because less time is devoted to
improvised class discussion.
•
•
•
•
Externs may feel more connected to their
field-placements, and less like students who
visit an office for a few hours for the
purpose of dissecting their experiences in
the classroom.
Students may have more thoughtful
reflections if they know their work will be
shared online.
Millennial students may contribute more in
an online atmosphere.
Internet tools make it easier to track
student assignments.
Professors have the ability to conduct class
at any time, from any place with internet
access.
III. Innovations in Externship Clinics
B. Long distance Externships:
• Students are placed outside the geographical area of the externship
office/law school.
• Common in summer programs; gives students the opportunity to
work for credit in their hometowns, allowing them the
conveniences of living with relatives, working in a city to which the
student plans to practice after law school, or even working
internationally.
• Technology is most helpful in these types of placement programs.
• The classroom necessarily plays a reduced role in these placements.
• The required “guided reflection” is mostly fulfilled through weekly
journals turned into faculty, or through teleconferencing or similar
technology.
III. Innovations in Externship Clinics
B. Long distance Externships:
Examples of long distance externship programs:
• American University School of Law: Students will participate in an
intensive seminar for 3-4 days in May, which prepares them for the
fieldwork experience. At the conclusion of the seminar, US Long Distance
students disperse to their externship site where they normally work fulltime for 7-10 weeks. Students communicate through online discussion
boards and chat rooms. http://www.wcl.american.edu/externship/national.cfm
• UCDC Program: UC Berkeley, UCLA, UC Davis, and UC Irvine: “The UCDC
Law Program is a uniquely collaborative, full-semester externship program
in Washington, DC. The program combines a weekly seminar-style course
with a full-time field placement to offer law students an unparalleled
opportunity to learn how federal statutes, regulations, and policies are
made, changed, and understood in the nation’s capital.”
http://www.law.berkeley.edu/3691.htm
III. Innovations in Externship Clinics
**Small Group Discussion**
• Discuss as a group what innovations you have in
your externship clinic - what models do you
use?
• What models have you used to structure your
program?
• What are you hoping to achieve?
IV. Pro bono v. For-Profit Placements
• A rising number of schools are placing
students in private, for-profit law firms in
addition to non-profits.
• This new trend has caused a debate among
clinical educators about the values and risks of
for-profit placement.
IV. Pro bono v. For-Profit Placements
Rules that may affect for-profit placements:
• ABA 305: only prohibits compensation for work and
encourages pro bono work, but does not disallow forprofit placements.
• AALS externship regulations: state that “worthwhile
experiences can be obtained in a legal office, including,
but not limited to, clerkships with the judiciary, public
policy institutes, legislative bodies, international
organization, or other legal practice settings.” This has
been interpreted to include for-profits.
Cite: 14 Clinical L. Rev. 37 (2007-2008), Examining the Use of For-Profit Placements in Law School Externship
Programs; Feeley, Bernadette T., 37.
IV. Pro bono v. For-Profit Placements
Rules that may affect for-profit placements:
• State Student Practice Rules (i.e. Missouri Rule 13; Illinois Rule): such
rules often limit the kind of tasks a student may perform in for-profit
placements as compared to public interest or government placements.
• For example, under Rule 13.01, an eligible student may appear in court or
before an administrative tribunal in Missouri on behalf of any person who
is: (1) Indigent, or (2) a client represented by a clinic chartered by an
American Bar Association approved law school, if the person on whose
behalf the student is appearing has indicated in writing consent thereto
and the supervising lawyer has also indicated in writing approval thereof.
An eligible student also may, with the written approval of the supervising
lawyer, appear in any matter (1) on behalf of the State or (2) on behalf of
a county or municipality for purposes of prosecuting a municipal
ordinance violation.
IV. Pro bono v. For-Profit Placements
Rules that may affect for-profit placements:
•
Fair Labor Standards Act of 2007 (FLSA): Requires minimum wage standards for employees;
many for-profit firms worry that having unpaid interns will violate the pay regulations.
• Six criteria for unpaid interns under FLSA:
1.
The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is
similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;
2.
The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern;
3.
The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of
existing staff;
4.
The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the
activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded;
5.
The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship; and
6.
The employer and the intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the
time spent in the internship.
IV. Pro bono v. For-Profit Placements
FLSA:
• The more structured an externship program
is, and the more the for-profit placement
focuses on the classroom component and/or
guided reflection, the more likely the forprofit placement will qualify as an
educational experience and comply with FLSA.
• It can be a fine line, and private firms may be
wary of non-compliance.
IV. Pro bono v. For-Profit Placements
Advantages of for-profit placements: Disadvantages of for-profit placements:
•
•
•
•
•
Expanded networking opportunities for
both the students AND the law school;
Wider variety of available placements in
newer, more cutting-edge areas of law;
Gives potentially financially disadvantaged
students the ability to work in an unpaid
internship, build resumes, and be more
competitive in the job market;
Gives opportunities to students who may
not be in the top 10% of their class or who
attend less prestigious law schools and
would not otherwise get interviews for
private sector internships;
Students who want to work in the private
sector can “try out” an area of law before
entering the work force.
• Historically, clinical education has been
a way to help the community and
those unable to afford legal counsel.
• The possibility for firms to receive
unpaid externs may limit the paid
internship possibilities in those firms.
• There is the potential for private firms
to exploit students as merely free labor
and assign mostly clerical tasks.
• Private sector attorneys concerned
about billable hours may limit time
spent with the student, or unethically
charge a client for a student’s time.
IV. Pro bono v. For-Profit Placements
Another disadvantage of for-profit placements:
• For-profit placements may not fit with many law schools’ or
clinics’ mission statements, which generally involve helping
the community.
• For example, the Jesuit Mission of Saint Louis University is
the pursuit of truth for the greater glory of God and for the
service of humanity. The University seeks excellence in the
fulfillment of its corporate purposes of teaching, research,
health care and service to the community.
• “The community is our classroom,” explains Professor John
J. Ammann, director of the SLU Legal Clinics. “Through
public service comes experience, and through experience
comes a deeper understanding of the law, and most
importantly, of people.”
IV. Pro bono v. For-Profit Placements
**Small Group Discussion**
• Discuss as a group the pros/cons of the
models used in your own programs.
• What are the major issues?
• What challenges do you foresee?
• Is there a "better" model?
V. The Role of Field Supervisors
• Supervision is one of the most essential
elements of an externship.
• Often, the supervision provided by the attorney
or judge is the first one-on-one experience an
extern has had in law school.
• Supervisors must strive to give meaningful
assignments and avoid menial tasks to fill the
time.
• The supervisor should provide meaningful
feedback to help the student improve.
V. The Role of Field Supervisors
• Ensuring effective supervision is a big
challenge because, by nature, supervisors are
primarily concerned with office, and
secondarily concerned with the extern’s
educational experience.
• There are different models that externship
programs have followed in striving for
effective supervision.
V. The Role of Field Supervisors
Alexander and Smith’s Contemporary
Model of Cooperative Supervision:
The Mentor Model:
• Divides responsibility for the
• Effective supervisors should mentor as
supervision between the student and
well as teach skills, and should pass on
the supervisor.
their passion and love for work as well
• Students are taught to actively seek
as law practice.
clarification, direction, and feedback,
• Mentors should understand that:
to continually self-assess, and to avoid
different students will learn most
passive reception of instruction and
effectively in different ways, and will
feedback.
strive to adapt their teaching style to
• This model helps a particularly busy
each individual extern.
supervisor remain an effective teacher. • They should also realize the
advantages of planning their teaching
roles, instead of merely planning how
to be an effective lawyer.
Cite: Blanco, Barbara A. and Buhai, Sande, Externship Field Supervision: Effective Techniques for Training Supervisors
and Students (March 2004). Clinical Law Review, Spring 2004
V. The Role of Field Supervisors
Common Supervision Challenges:
How to Overcome:
• The supervisor is too busy to provide
an ample amount of direction and/or
feedback to a student.
• Continually evaluate supervisors via
on-site visits and student feedback to
ensure they meet criteria and have the
time to effectively supervise.
• The supervisor does not share the
same teaching goals or objectives as
the externship program.
• The students’ goals and objectives
should be clearly articulated to the
supervisor in writing and progress
should be assessed.
• The supervisor does not adapt his or
her teaching style to individual
students’ learning styles.
• Law schools should specifically train
supervisors to recognize different
learning styles and adapt their
teaching techniques.
V.
The Role of Field Supervisors
• Schools can use training programs such as the
GLACE Approach to Field Supervision and
Training and the GLACE Field Supervision
Manual to strive to train effective supervisors.
• The manual is available in hard copy and
electronic format.
V.
The Role of Field Supervisors
**Small Group Discussion**
Discuss as a group any challenges you have
faced with field supervisors and what, if
anything, you were able to do to overcome
these challenges.
VI. Conclusion
Are externships meeting students’ needs?
• Externships provide opportunities for students
to gain legal experience and networking
opportunities even in today’s struggling
economy.
• Some educators believe that each and every
law student should have the opportunity to
participate in an externship program, even
though the ABA does not require it.

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