In the March 2014 edition of The National Jurist magazine, Gonzaga University School of Law was listed as one of the top 36 schools in the country for practical training. Gonzaga Law was the only Washington school in the top 36, with an “A-” grade. The grades and rankings are based on a weighted scale of the ratio of experiential learning positions available and filled.
Building on a History of Experiential Learning
At Gonzaga Law, experiential learning has a long history. Earlier this year, the faculty approved and the administration is implementing changes to the academic requirements that both increases the experiential learning requirement and offers new options for legal research and writing.
“For the last 101 years, Gonzaga Law has taken pride in being in front of the pack when it comes to creating legal education that pursues justice for all, while finding solutions to the immediate challenges facing students and the community,” said Korn. “This re-dedication to experiential learning is just the latest example of Gonzaga’s dedication to innovative methods of legal education.”
Recognizing Value in Experience
Experiential learning has been gaining popularity with law schools around the country. As The National Jurist report noted, the 2012 Law School Survey of Student Engagement found that participation in experiential learning “significantly and positively affects students’ perceptions they are developing in personal and academic dimensions.” The National Association for Law Placement has also noted that many attorneys rate experiential learning as “very useful” in their education.
Current students at Gonzaga Law have already shown this value. Most students currently complete an average of 8 credits of experiential learning, nearly triple the current requirement.
About The National Jurist Rankings
The National Jurist ranked practical training on a weighted scale that measured the ratio of full-time enrollment in simulation positions; the number of faculty-supervised clinical positions filled; and the number of field placement positions filled. A weight was assigned to each category, with the most weight given to clinics, with externships next, and simulation courses given the lowest weight. The National Jurist also gave bonus points to schools using unique innovations.