This article makes the case for the value – and the feasibility, under current accreditation and related rules governing law schools - of a clinical rotation for law students, modeled on the rotations that are a key part of medical school education. The “clinical year,” which would engage students in almost full-time practice/study for their third year of law school, could be a significant step in building the complete apprenticeship that the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has urged. It would also rely to a large extent on the supervision, and teaching, that adjunct law school faculty – supervisors at the rotation settings – would provide. In that respect, the “clinical year” differs from in-house clinical education. The article addresses the differences in students’ experience that this approach to bridging the gap between theory and practice would generate, and argues that this model is worth exploring, despite – and in some respects because of – these features.
53 New York Law School Law Review 877-891 (2008-2009)