Harvard Law School’s “Case Studies Blog” recently featured the University of Denver Sturm College of Law‘s Lawyering Process Program as one that helps students begin to develop their identities as lawyers in the first year of law school. The program serves as the first component in the new Experiential Advantage Curriculum, launched this year by DU (an ETL Consortium school), which allows students to take a full year of experiential courses in their second or third years. Lawyering Process retains all of the traditional research and writing instruction, while also integrating problem solving, practical simulations, self-reflection, and feedback from professors, peers, and practitioners.
David Thomson, Lawyering Process professor and former director of the program, aims to integrate the formation of professional identity into the classroom, along with doctrinal and practical learning, to help students find meaning in their professional work and develop a sense of duty. The Lawyering Process Program helps students find personal connection in their work within the first year of law school. Professor Thomson and his colleagues have also “re-envisioned the way material is presented” in the classroom, and use technology to make learning more interactive. “We have to prepare students for their future, not our past.”
Katherine Kirk is a third year law student at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and contributes to IAALS Online. Please direct inquiries about this post to firstname.lastname@example.org.