Clinical Programs, Externships and Practicum Courses
WHAT IS EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING?
At Georgetown Law, students’ legal education goes far beyond the traditional classroom setting. We know that the best way for students to learn what it means to be a lawyer is to do what lawyers do. For that reason, we offer a number of different experiential learning courses, which are designed to help students apply the theories or skills that they have learned in the classroom to a real lawyering context. In experiential learning courses, students engage in lawyering work, take initiative, make decisions, and are accountable for the results, reflect and analyze what they experienced and learn from the consequences, mistakes, and successes. They learn what it means to have a client relationship, deal with client expectations, strategize a case, and handle the unexpected twists and turns that result.
Through participating in these experiential opportunities, students
Accomplish a high degree of competency in legal analysis, problem solving, and practice-related skills;
Develop autonomy in applying legal principles in basic contexts important to the public, the clients they serve, and the work they undertake;
Through reflection on their experience, develop expertise and become life-long learners; Develop an appreciation for the character of the legal profession and their place in it;
Use their learning for the greater good and develop a commitment to improve the legal system through service to the public and their clients and through maintaining high standards;
Face and overcome such key challenges as conducting themselves in accordance with a lawyer’s ethical responsibilities and pursuing justice despite lack of remuneration for that work;
Overcome misconceptions and habits of thinking so to be sensitive to diverse communities and appreciative of the cross-cultural and international dimensions of law practice.
Our course offerings are both civil and criminal; they include litigation as well as transactional, legislative, and policy matters; and they give students the opportunity to practice in local, national, and international contexts. The Law Center provides three opportunities for students to engage in experiential learning courses: clinical education, practicum courses, and externships. Each offers distinct benefits to students, as described in more detail in the following sections.