Incorporating Experiential Education Throughout the Curriculum

Deborah Maranville, University of Washington School of Law
Cynthia Batt, Stetson University College of Law
Lisa Radtke Bliss, Georgia State University College of Law
Carolyn Wilkes Kaas, Quinnipiac University School of Law


As experiential education proliferates, law schools will design approaches suited to their individual missions and circumstances. No “one size fits all” strategy will suffice and the current period of creativity will no doubt continue to bring forth new methods and structures. Legal education urgently needs empirical research on what methods will best promote deep learning that transfers to practice. At the same time, enough experience has accumulated to identify five general “best practices”:

  • Incorporating experiential education widely throughout the curriculum
  • Providing a range of experiential course types and making them available to all students
  • Ensuring that experiential courses add value to students’ experience
  • Requiring real supervised practice experience — preferably one law clinic and one externship — for all students
  • Developing a common vocabulary and evaluative criteria for experiential education

This section of the book BUILDING ON BEST PRACTICES: TRANSFORMING LEGAL EDUCATION IN A CHANGING WORLD (Lexis 2015) provides guidance on how to implement each of these five best practices.