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.